Friday, December 31, 2010

Two more blocks done

I laid out the twelve blocks I had done and didn't like all of them together, so made two more of the blocks I've picked for the 2011 sampler BOM series. Now I like them. However along with monitoring an on-line mystery, doing more laundry, and straightening up the house a little, I didn't get the sampler put together. So this one will start out the new year as a WIP (work in progress) but switch to a UFO as soon as I get the top done and move on to another project. I don't have backing fabric for it, so it will stay undone until I get up to Lancaster in March (if not sooner).

I have other projects I want to work on, including Ann's NYE mystery. But I have plenty of my own new patterns to test out, and I know how great her pattern is, I'm torn between making hers or one of my own. And of course there are all those UFOs that need to be finished... sooner or later... next year maybe!

Happy New Year to all of my readers. May 2011 bring us all health, wealth, happiness and peace!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

“Thank you thank you and thank you again”

This is from the lucky winner of my latest box of fabric give away.
“I wasn't expecting any more boxes, Christmas is over. So I had no idea what the mailman was bringing me this morning. The return address didn't help much either. I didn't think I knew anyone in Delaware. I was pleasantly surprised when I read your thank you card and dug into the package. Patterns and fabric too. Thank you so much for everything, and remind me to donate again when the new year starts.

And I send my thanks to you for your donation. Every dollar counts and brings us closer to a cure, and who knows, it might bring you a box of goodies too!

Another block done

I've lost count but I think I've done 12 blocks now, a whole year's worth. The last two I did used up a lot of scraps and I feel good about using them. One block I had to use two different white-on-whites, but I doubt anyone will notice, even I can't see it in the photo.

I'm starting to get tired of this project and want to move on to a new one. But I promised myself I would get this top done before I start anything else. I have quite a decision to make when that time comes, I have several new mysteries to make samples for and of course the NYE mystery. I wish I could do without sleep, that would give me at least 8 hours more a day to sew, LOL!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

First 2011 BOM loaded

If you follow me you know I’ve been working on the 2011 BOMs. Today I’ve loaded the first one on line, added the project page, and did all of my web site updating. I’m ready for 2011 to begin!

For the 2011 BOMs I have decided to do something slightly different. All of the blocks will be 12 1/2 inch blocks and can be used in any way you want to use them. However I am combining BOMs with other BOMs to make some beautiful quilts. Look at the bottom of each of the 2011 BOMs for some neat quilt combinations. (I will add them as I add blocks to the series.)

For 2011, so you can easily identify the 2011 BOMs on my BOM page, I will be putting an asterisk in front of each block as I add it to the BOM page. You may also check the 2011 Project Page for more ideas.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What did I get done today?

Well… I finished another 2011 BOM totally and I did the word document, html and diagrams for another one, but that’s it as far as sewing. I did a lot of work on one of my Yahoo Groups, moving photos, making new albums, setting up guidelines, etc. And I sorted some more of my scraps, looking for more black. I also did three loads of laundry although one is still in the dryer tumbling as I type. When I write it down it seems like a lot… how come I feel like I didn’t get anything done at all?

Sewing maybe

I came upstairs to sew today, and this is the view from my sewing room window. The snow is blinding so I have to keep the blinds closed, although I’d much rather sit here and stare at it. I’ll probably jump through the ceiling when the garage roof heats up and all that snow slides away!

My plan is to finish the 2011 BOMs today. I found some more scraps of one of the blacks, hopefully enough to finish. If not, then the last few blocks will wait until I can get to the store to get some more, I’ve decided not to use the swirly one.

Monday, December 27, 2010

2011 BOM update

As of this afternoon I have nine blocks finished totally, the sample block, the word document, the PDF and the html. I also have the html done for the project page. It feels great to be on schedule with this project, for a change! Now I just need to make a decision about the black and get them all finished.

And then I think I will work on another UFO, surely there is one ready to be finished before the end of the year so I can shorten my UFO list before the new year begins… or before another new project calls to me.

Snowy wind chimes

I love wind chimes and have several hanging around the yard. In all this wind, I couldn’t hear them and wondered why. Looking out the window I could see the top of the chimes which were full of snow, but not moving at all. I can barely open the front door because of a drift, but got it open enough to stick my hand and the camera out.

Storm is over

At least here it is… we only have blowing snow today and it is blowing all over! Officially we got 11.8 inches which is just about what we got on our back porch. There are drifts that are much higher, including the one against the front door. This snow won’t last long, every day this coming week the temperature goes higher and higher ending on Saturday with rain, which will surely wash all the leftovers away.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Still coming down

Here are photos from 4:40 this afternoon and 9:08 tonight... and it's still coming down.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow....

It snowed off and on all night long and we have about six inches so far. But this isn't over yet and it is still coming down hard. Truly a good old nor'easter with lots of snow, high winds and even a few whiteouts. I was watching John shovel and then he was gone, buried in a wind gust of blowing snow. I am very VERY thankful that my family are all safe and have no travel plans for a few days. John and Steph are in PA at her parents and don't plan to go home until Tuesday and Mike and Kelly are in Maryland and have no travel plans until Jan 2nd.

Photo at the top was taken at 9PM last night, and the one below at 2:40 PM today.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Two

We had a very quiet day, just a few phone calls in the morning. John went to visit Aunt Sheryl and then came home for dinner. Pop and Arden joined us and we enjoyed a standing rib roast, baked taters and salad and all the crescent rolls we wanted since Jonathon and Michael weren't home. (I'm lucky to get any of they are here.) We then watched some really old family movies, John as a baby, and when they decided to go home, we found the snow had started. Last night when we went to bed they said we might get flurries today... today to forecast changed and now we're expecting 8 to 12 inches.
Ho ho ho for sure!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

I can only hope that your Christmas will be a great as ours was. Jon and Steph and Simba arrived late Wednesday night, and we stayed up too late catching up. Thursday started off later than many Christmases in the past, as we all slept in. We started off the day as most Christmases have for many years, with John’s famous sticky buns. Once we unstuck our fingers we opened presents.

Kids never grow up and Mike proved that by his over excitement of his gift from Jon and Steph, architect Legos, which he immediately put together.

Once presents were opened we partook of another family tradition, watching Emmitt Otters Jug Band Christmas. Apparently this tradition will continue, since both couples brought their own copies of the DVD to assure we watched it.

Then Grammy and GrandPop stopped in so we finished opening presents, which included Reindeer Poop and safety flashlights which were big hits. (Kids never grow up)

Then we had dinner and once that had settled we took family photos,

and then watched old family movies while John and his kitchen crew made chocolate chip cookies. The cookie tradition started when the boys were little. They baked fresh chocolate chip cookies for Santa every year. Unfortunately this year we made them on our Christmas evening instead, and poor Santa won’t get any if he stops by here, since they are all gone already. (A double batch just disappeared!)

And now both couples are on their way to their other families to start the festivities all over again. It may not have been December 25th, but it was Christmas, another wonderful one!

So when you celebrate yours, I hope you have as much fun as we did!
Merry Merry and Happy Happy to you all
Ho Ho Ho

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas dinner?

What do you serve for Christmas dinner? Do you slave over the stove all day fixing a meal or many meals and miss out on all the Christmas fun? Not me, I gave that up a long time ago. Our Christmas dinner most years recently has been a standing rib roast, very easy to cook and quite yummy. I salt and pepper it, stick it in a roasting pan and in the oven it goes. About an hour before it's ready, potatoes go in to be baked. Cook some veggies and/or a salad and it's a perfect meal.

Since we don't always have Christmas on the 25th, sometimes we vary that meal. Sometimes we have lasagna and all the fixings. But I always prepare it ahead of time so the hard work is done. And that's what I'm doing today. I've cooked the ground beef and sweet Italian sausage and now it is simmering in the sauce. Later I'll finish up the casserole and put it in the frig until we need it. If I've planned right I will have enough for two casseroles, one for now and one to be cut up and put in the freezer for later. I cut it up into two serving size portions, so each container makes a meal. Also good for sharing.

John actually asked for Beef BBQ sandwiches this year, something I hadn't made in forever and never for Christmas. It's another easy recipe that you cook in the crock pot and is yummy. So I picked up a brisket and will throw it in the crock pot one day soon to satisfy his craving. Not sure if it will be Christmas or not, but we'll have it one day.

What are we having this year for Christmas dinner? I haven't decided yet, but we'll have plenty to chose from. For that I am very thankful.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Do nothing day

Literally, a do nothing day. I have a cold that has gotten the better of me. I hope that it's gone by tomorrow night, but I kind of doubt it. But I'm not going to complain about it, there are a lot of people who have worse problems than my little cold.

My thoughts and prayers are with those who are really sick, for those who are caught in bad weather, and for the many who are living in miserable conditions.

I have it well and I'm not complaining ever again.

Monday, December 20, 2010

More about the black

Let me say first that there is no purple in #1, it just looks that way from the camera flash. It is truly a black with dark grey splotches in it and I just found a little bit more of it in my scrap bin, but maybe not enough… time will tell.

What I am making are sample blocks for my 2011 BOMs, which will all be sewn together into a sampler quilt eventually. Blocks will be revealed on a monthly basis, which is why they call it a Block Of the Month. I will be posting an introduction to this block series, and a 2009-2010 Sampler project suggestion sometime next week.

I’ve had quite a few suggestions, thanks for each one of them.

2011 BOMs come to a screeching stop…

I’m just rolling along on these blocks and having fun, most of the time, doing them. My process, explained here tells you how I go about making them. I have 15 blocks which I have picked to go with this series, although I may not use them all. Of those 15, all but one has the diagrams finished completely and ten of them have the word documents finished. I have made seven blocks, and this morning I cut pieces to make three more.

And in cutting those three I have completely used up my black fabrics. I’ve used two different blacks so far, and even went as far as taking apart a block that came out a little too small to re-use the black in it. I have used at least three, possibly four different white-on-whites, and two different black and white prints and all the same red. I have plenty of those three colors… but I’m not at all sure about the last piece of black I have in my stash… I think it might be too different than the others…

What do you think? Would you use #3?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

New header...

I decided it was time to change my quilt header... these are four of the five quilts I've finished this year. Considering that I went over a year without quilting, I'm quite proud of what I've done. I have others close to being finished also, but this week is probably not going to be the week they get done.

More progress on the 2011 BOMs... I have seven finished and loaded on line ready to go on. I just need to decide which one I should start with to introduce this new series. I might start with one which really doesn't even go with the rest of them... it just happens to be made with the same fabrics. Decisions decisions.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

One week

One week to Christmas, are you ready? I'm beyond ready, it could be tomorrow.. well not quite because I haven't wrapped yet. But you get my point.

Today I got a belated birthday present, under counter lights for the kitchen. Our kitchen is very dark even in the day time, so these are a welcome addition. When we win the lottery I want sun tubes put in... but we rarely play so I don't think we'll ever win.

I finished another BOM today, and got two more done pattern wise at least... samples yet to be done. I'm enjoying this series, although I'm not sure yet what I'm going to make with the blocks, I might have to look for a special sashing if I go sampler.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Reality check

I just returned from a shopping trip, and I hate shopping. I really hate shopping in crowds and since it is close to Christmas, there are crowds. However this was different…

My first stop was Wal-Mart, not a place I like a lot. However they have things I need that other stores in my area don’t have, so I went there. I first picked up, not on my list, two packages of wrapping paper, on sale half price already. Then I hit the grocery aisles and started to hear Christmas greetings loud and clear. I wasn’t sure where they were coming from, it wasn’t over the loud speakers, but it was certainly loud.

I soon found the source, a lone cashier at the back door. She called out loudly, pretty much to half the store, “MERRY CHRISTMAS” as each customer walked out the door. Then I heard a response come from somewhere else in the store… “Happy Hanukkah too” and somewhere else there was a “Feliz Navidad” and from another direction another greeting in a language I didn’t recognize, but I was pretty sure I knew what it was saying. And you know what, even the grumpiest of shopper walked out with a smile on his or her face.

What pleased me was that it was Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays, and that alone really made me smile.

Next stop was the grocery store, which fortunately wasn’t too crowded. (I think everyone was at Wal-Mart) I got what I needed and checked myself out. The cashier on the self-checks was strangely quiet, not herself, and I said something to her about her solemn mood. She said she wasn’t in a festive mood this year, and I asked her why… She lost her daughter in a terrible accident on November 22nd and just wasn’t in the holiday spirit. I was speechless. I didn’t know what to say, so I continued checking out, almost in tears. As I left I walked up to her and asked her how she was doing. She said OK, but it was hard. I said I could not imagine. She said but I have my Granddaughter, and she keeps me going. I told her I had no idea how she was managing and wished her all the luck and peace in the world. She smiled at me and said thanks. I wanted to give her a hug…

Thursday, December 16, 2010

More about the 2011 BOMs and UFOs finished

Cindy asked, “Will you give us fabric requirements for a sampler?”
Well I hadn’t thought of it, but I can. I will make a 2011 Project page early in January.

Kathy asked, “What happened to the 2010 project”
Well… life got in the way of the 2009 and 2010 BOM projects. I had planned on making a large sampler quilt, and if you look at the photo index you will see a lot of quilts with a blue and green floral background and blues and greens to coordinate with it. Several things happened keeping me from making my own sampler, first were some family issues, then my health and lastly, I never found the perfect floral background. Since you asked, I will make up a 2009-2010 Sampler page, just as a suggestion of how you might put those blocks together.

Bonnie asked, “So, any idea how much fabric one might need if one were to make your boms?”
Each block will tell you what you need to make that one block. Since I don’t know what size quilts people will be making, I don’t give quilt yardage… and honestly, I don’t want to start that… it’s way too complicated and too much work. I have UFOs to work on!

And speaking of UFOs, I finished two this week. I finished finally the binding on my Christmas Stars, the photo was taken when I got it back from the quilter, you’ll have to take my word the binding is done. And I finished my 2010 Fishy quilt which was a Mystery for Relay earlier this year.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How do you make your BOMs?

I have a system I’ve used for a long time that seems to work for me. First I use Electric Quilt to design the block. Then I write up the word document, using paint for the diagrams. Then I check the directions by making it myself. If it comes out the size I want it to be, I send that word document to two or more testers to see if they get the same results. They also check my grammar and math, usually… although sometimes mistakes get by all of us and one of my readers points it out to me.

Next is the HTML or web page. I use a program called HomeSite to do my web pages, it works the best for my purposes. When all of the diagrams are converted to jpgs and the document is written in code, it goes on line. Right now there are six of the 2011 BOMs on line, but no one can see them yet. They are in a hidden folder waiting their turn to be put on the BOM index.

I did run out of the B&W print I was using so had to pull another B&W print from my stash. Nice to have a stash on a cold day like this so I didn’t have to go out shopping. (29 right now with winds at 18mph gusting to 33mph) Hopefully this B&W will get me to the end of these blocks. I’ve used at least three different white-on-whites, at least two different blacks and now two B&W prints… but all the same red which is pure coincidence.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Successful day, so far

I have five BOMs totally done, four are even loaded on the web site and ready to go. I’m pretty sure I’m going to run out of my B&W print, so I might be looking for some more or at least something very similar. While I was working on web pages I went ahead and updated both indexes too, it was about time for a change. (Don’t look, the updated pages won’t go on until Jan 1st) I’m sure there are a few other pages that need updating, but they will have to wait for another day.

Tonight we have our first Relay committee meeting of the 2011 fiscal year. I can’t wait to hear what else the “boss” has up her sleeve. (Hi Diane) We chatted for a few on the telephone and it sounds to me like she is as raring to go as I am.

It’s cold and windy here as it is in many places across the country. I wish I didn’t have to go out tonight, but this is important.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Startling surprise

I’m not real sure how to title this, but I know some of my so called friends will get a chuckle from what just happened to me. I am easily startled, which comes from enjoying peace and quiet to the extent that I have nothing on all day long… no radio, no TV, nothing. Well… when the phone rings I about jump out of my skin. Some of my “retreat friends” thought this was comical and got their jollies by calling my cell phone at retreats just to see me jump. I fixed that this year, by keeping the phone in my pocket and having it on vibrate… it started out slowly and didn’t startle me the way the loud ring did.

Yes I jump at home when the phone rings too, if I am deep into something. I solved that by having the phone which next to me not ring… the ringing is on the first floor and also doesn’t startle me.

Well today it’s a little chilly up here so I got out the electric heater and plugged it in. It ran and ran and warmed up my corner then shut itself off. Yep.. you know what happened when it came back on… if I had fingernails someone would have had to peel me off the ceiling.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday sewing

Today I am working on the 2011 BOMs. I had a series done for next year, but hadn’t made the samples and decided I didn’t like them so much. So I started over. The first one was done quite easily, it was something I had in mind for a few days before I started working on it, and surprised myself at how well it came out.
However, and isn’t there always a however, I was in such a hurry to share it that I put it on the Mystery Group complete with mistakes. Nothing major, and fortunately one of the ladies caught them, so I corrected them and am ready for January 1st…. I think…

And that one block got me going in a different direction completely, a newish block style for me and as far as I can tell, after just a little looking, no one else on line has these blocks like I will be sharing them. Alone they make for nice quilts, but combined, they are even nicer… I can’t wait to share them.

But as of right now I only have four done, few more months to take care of!

Although I am thinking of a different style for spring, and then maybe something summery and then fall… maybe

Saturday, December 11, 2010

What a nice day I had…

Did a lot of nothing and had a great time doing it. John and I went “downstate” to pick up some t-shirts and sweats that I had ordered. Then we drove by Joan’s to see if she was home and she was, so I talked her into going out to lunch with us. We had a terrific lunch at Cottage CafĂ© and the food was great too. It’s always so nice to be with Joan, she can make the most dreary day fun. (Weather was the only dreary thing!)

On the ride home we stopped to look at the new Indian River Bridge, we think it will be very pretty when it’s done and a whole lot safer than the old bridge too.

Then we stopped at Lowes where we looked at doors, I want a new door between the porch and kitchen, one that is all glass so there is more light in the kitchen. While there we found under counter lights which I’d been asking for too. Got the lights but couldn’t decide on the door.

Now we’re home and I think I’m going to put in a movie… we haven’t seen Toy Story 3 yet! Can’t think of a more perfect ending to a perfectly delightful day!