Monday, March 31, 2014

Stay-cation Monday

On Spring Break Monday, Steph and I headed with the kids to Newport on the Levee.  Although we didn't go to the parade or the game, the kids were appropriately dressed for Opening Day, along with many other people.  We saw the new Muppet movie,

ate lunch and spent an hour at Gameworks,

and, surprise!, the Hamster Balls were already in action.

Pretty awesome stay-cation Monday.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Nora at Wendy's

Last night was a fund raiser night for Nora's softball team.  The team got a percentage of the profits from the Amelia Wendy's from 5 - 8:00 p.m, and in return the team stood outside with signs encouraging people to come on in.  It was a good fund raiser and the girls stayed outside in the cold and the wind, taking breaks to come inside to eat dinner, but otherwise dancing and jumping and yelling.  Here's Nora during her break.

Nora loves playing softball, and she's glad it's the season.  Back at home, Nora said, "I think I'm noisier than I was last year."  Yes, you are, Nora, and for you, that's a good thing.

I have more projects going on that I can keep up with.  Above are embroidered flower pedals, still on their water soluble stabilizer.  You'll see the finished project soon.

Yesterday I forgot my embroidery machine's USB stick at work and forgot to pick up some sewing after the fund raiser.  This may be a sign to pay more attention.  Finish doing what I'm doing before I go on to the next thing.  Check my calendar.  I did remember to pick up my taxes today, and that's a good thing.  I felt I should celebrate after that and had an early lunch at Mammouth Cafe.  I love their breakfast bagel because it has really good veggie sausage.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Feeling . . . Relieved

In the past couple of days I've made the quilt sandwich for this quilt and have stitched in the ditch around the blocks.  This is the back - no pleats or puckers and I'm so relieved.  Putting together the sandwich is the part of making a quilt that I have the least confidence about, and this is larger than my usual quilt.  I've watched my friend Louise very elegantly pin together her quilt sandwiches, but I need pins AND 505 basting spray to feel really good about things.

Now I can relax with my favorite part, free motion, without being too concerned about shifting.  And the quilt won't need to move all that much during the free motion, the largest block is 12" x 16".  I just usually don't work quite this large, folks, and it's only 66" x 74".

One of the local quilt shops offers lessons on their long arm, after which you can rent time on their machine.  Of course what I'd really like is my own smaller version, but this is a good alternative in the meantime.  And, they will help you when you're working with their machine.  One of these days I want to go for the lesson, but I want to have a big quilt almost ready so there isn't too much forgetting time between lesson and quilting.  This quilt really isn't appropriate for the long arm.    

Monday, March 24, 2014

Wildcats and Reds

I've been quiet for the past week, working steadily on a commission that will be a gift.  The chances of the recipient seeing it here are really slim to none, but still, professionalism tells me to not post pictures or even discuss this project until it's been given.  So, I'll content myself with just saying that I'm worrying a little about quilting it because it's bigger than I usually work.

But, in the meantime, there's basketball.  Having lived in Kentucky or on the border for 25 years, I'm a Big Blue fan.  And now, all week, I can think about the game yesterday and the game to come on Friday. 

My grandguy is a huge Star Wars fan, and one of his favorite words is "epic."  Which battle was the most epic?  I like that word, and it certainly fits yesterday's UK/Witchita State game.  Two teams battling well, both shooting over 50%.  And it will fit Friday's game, because any time these two play there's an in-state rivalry.  And, because Rick Pitino has coached both teams.

And then there's Monday to think about.  Opening Day in Cincinnati.  Cincinnati is the only team that always opens their season at home, a gesture of respect to the oldest team.  My quilting schedule will change a little, with more quilting at night, with the games in the background.  Yay! for spring!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Skinny Christmas Tree

In about six weeks, I'll be teaching the first session of a class where students buy the pattern to make this paper-pieced tree.  Very long (around 72") and very skinny (about 20".)

My co-worker tells me that the buttons are for hanging ornaments.  I never would have guessed that - I thought they WERE they ornaments.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Shrimp Pad Thai

This was Aaron's Friday off school (happens every other Friday) and he and I spent some time together, then picked up Nora after school and went to see Mr. Peabody and Sherman.  At Oakley Cinemark, really nice with rocking seats. 

Then we went to Noodles and Company.  The shrimp Pad Thai was pretty yummy, maybe a little more bland than I usually get.  Nora declared it to be her second favorite restaurant, that girl has always loved butter noodles and chicken noodle soup.  Aaron was happy with his spaghetti and meatballs.

It was a warm day and the wind blew, hard to not be happy on a day like that.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Big Table Runner

My newest table runner work project is finished, and it's huge.  Here it is laying from one end to the other on my full-size bed.

It's made with the Squedge 18" template and the pattern comes with the template.  And everything fit together exactly as it should.  It would make a very striking wall hanging.  I'm thinking a sleeve on the top of the rectangular part with some Timtex behind the top triangular part to help that hold its shape.   

Monday, March 10, 2014

It's Kind of a Bright Day

Greens and oranges and bright pinks and lime green.  And the promise of a sunny day with 65 degree temperature.  Maybe I'll do just a LITTLE garden trimming.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Springing Forward

Yesterday was Faith Day at the Newport Aquarium, with discounted tickets for church groups.  Sorry, Michelle, I was so busy talking that I walked right by the photo booth without checking to see if you were there.  The white alligators were gone, to be replaced soon by a turtle display.
I'm doing a lot of fabric shopping these days, but it's for specific projects, not abstractly increasing my stash.  So far this year, I've used 7 1/2 more yards than I've purchased.  I find that I'm really enjoying getting the fabrics for these work projects since I'm limiting my usual fabric shopping.  I'm thinking long and hard about how much I really LOVE a tempting fabric, knowing that my goal is to have less fabric at the end of the year than when I started.
Except for the one in my car, my clocks are changed.  I really love the lighter evenings and am hopeful that will be enough to get me past that "not quite knowing what to do with myself" feeling at the end of the day.  It seems that once 7:00 p.m. comes, I pretty much crash, but I don't have many low energy projects.  Of course, March 30 is Opening Day, and I know I'll be in the studio then, listening to the games and doing a little something.
I so clearly remember my in-laws listening to the Reds during the summer.  They had a screened-in back porch and would sit there in the dusk/dark listening.  They lived in Sarasota during the winter and became Reds fans (vs Tiger fans) because the Reds spring training was in Sarasota.    

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Table Runner

This table runner is the Husqvarna Viking March project, and you can find instructions and a link to the embroidery design on the Viking website.

It has four hoopings with lots of embroidery, and it's SO worth doing. 

I have to admit that I found the fabric at Tuesday Morning.  Just sometimes, they have jelly rolls or fat quarter packs.  Sometimes great, sometimes not, definitely nice this time.  I pieced the backing from the remains of the fat quarters I used for the piecing. 

I also found a small box of Legos for each of the grands.  A star fighter and a Lego Friends magic show.  Perfect.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

It's the Day, Fat Tuesday

It's the day, Fat Tuesday - for eating King Cake and being thoughtful about the Lenten season to come.  I haven't given Lent a lot of thought yet, and I like to add positive things instead of "giving up" things.  Ash Wednesday, tomorrow, is the day I like to do my thinking. 

On this day, I just want to enjoy the crunch of that colorful sugar.  Where do they get that?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

This Time It Was Better

And then, the next time everything fell into place.  The class on Saturday, went well, too, and everyone finished theirs. 

This afternoon we're waiting for snow or more freezing rain or whatever comes our way.  It was freezing rain earlier but the temperature is dropping now.  Church was cancelled this morning, and there was no much-anticipated choir concert by Bluffton University.  I'm very relieved, I hated to think of those students on the bus in bad weather.  No setting up visuals for Lent and no Listening Group.  Instead, a quiet morning at home. 

I ordered a King Cake from Graeter's for Fat Tuesday.  It sounds like such a hopeful thing.  Colored sugar in spring colors.  Sweet icing.  A string of bright beads.  And the baby.

Tuesday night I'm doing a little presentation for the Sewing Guild about sewing machine feet.  I'll probably demonstrate the common ones that come with most machines, then show a few of the specialty feet.  And of course the left-edge topstitch, one of my current go-to feet.  The interchangable dual feed, which lives on my sewing table.  I need to take a look at my Foot Book and choose.

I used to be more impatient when starting a sewing project, but now I've learned to take a breath and change the needle, foot, and thread.  Maybe the stitch.  Make it a zen process.