Monday, February 22, 2010

I'm still here.....

Time flies, doesn't it?? I've been so busy this past week, it's been crazy. I am preparing for a Baby Shower for my Dear Daughter in law and my son in a few short weeks. I spent several days shopping for invitations and ended up making my own. So between the shopping and the making, that took up a few days of my time. Oh, and addressing, by hand, (cause I'm printer illiterate) took forever. I sent out about 45 invitations. Now, I'm thinking, where will I put everyone????? Oh well, I'll worry about that tomorrow! *wink*

I've also been doing some shopping. It's all fun, but it's also work. We've had some things that needed our attention and I've spent the past week taking care of that. And, the next couple of days will be filled with getting new tile in the bathroom. The shower wall started dropping tiles like leaves on a fall day, so blah.....the mess has begun. Fortunately, it's a small bathroom so the mess is not too big!!!!! And I'm very grateful that we have another bathroom for the "kids" to use while that one is being worked on.....well, we're all sharing the master bath, but that's ok.

And, last night, I attended a wedding shower for my BFF's daughter. We've known this family for about 16 years, and I've known the daughter since she was 3. Amazing that our children grow up so quickly. Hard to believe.

So, that's what I've been up to. I've gotten several e-mails from quilty friends checking up on me! How very, very sweet. I know....usually an absence from me means a medical emergency, but fortunately, this time that's not the problem! Much to be grateful for, right???

I need to get the binding on Dear Grandson's baby quilt in preparation of the upcoming shower. I've been sewing a bit here and there and have a few other small things made for him.

Oh, and I need to cut out some more strips for the Postage Stamp Quilt. I have almost all of them cut for the first section.....but looking at the instructions, each section will use only certain fabrics, repeated over and over. I'm wondering if I need to pull out lots of strips, sew them and then using ALL the strips, move them around so that I get more variety?? Does that even make sense??? I know what I mean, but I'm not always very good at communicating what I'm thinking!!!

Anyway, the workman is about to be here.....lots to do!!!!!

Happy Quilting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

What a trip!!!!

Ok, so my BFF and I had the best trip. We really enjoyed the drive, cutting up, laughing, etc. It was something we are definitely going to have to repeat!!!

We took our time driving up, stopped at a little hole in wall place for lunch and even happened to find a tiny little quilt shop. We just browsed because honestly...I don't need another thing!!! I am determined to use up what I have. But, it was fun looking at the quilts and fabrics in a small town. Not much of a selection but they were kind enough to put up with us snorting and laughing the entire time.

We checked in and when we opened the door to our suite, we were both amazed. The place is SOO nice, very well decorated and BIG. They did say it was 1000 square feet on the website, but I wasn't expecting it to be so roomy. Both bedrooms were large, and had lovely linens and really comfy beds. And, each bed had a gorgeous quilt on it. So very pretty.

The quilt that was hanging over the couch had exquisite hand quilting. Tiny stitches just like my Granny used to make. It was a large wall quilt and was done beautifully. The quilts on the beds were machine pieced and hand quilted, but not very well done. But they were lovely. I was there for the comfort though, not the quilts.

We ate some yummy stuff. Things like boiled shrimp, baked potatoes, roasted chicken with bell peppers and onions, steamed veggies, black bread, pumpernickel hamburgers, kolaches, pastry, omelets, grilled chicken sandwich on rosemary focaccia, etc. And, after one meal, we ordered dessert to go and ate it later. A four layer chocolate cake with ganache. Whew. Lovely food.

And we shopped. The reservation people actually own a shop where they sell the quilts that are in the B&B's they represent, as well as decor, etc. I found a lovely angel for the top of my tree. This year, I realized very late into the Christmas season that the reason I couldn't find my angel to top my tree was because she met an untimely death last year and was disposed of in a humane way. I forgot. This angel was marked $60 and was 75% off. So, she came home with me.

I also purchased an queen sized ivory whole cloth quilt for my bed. And, two matching shams. I still need to get pillows for them. And, I also purchased some Euro shams and pillows. Once I get it all set up, I'll take a pic and show you. I found a few knick knacks too.

But, probably the best deal we both got was some new curtains. My BFF always finds the greatest deals, and I discovered she will crawl around on the floor and dig through EVERYTHING to find them!!!!

I walked away a couple of times, double checking to make sure no one was seeing her!! Oh my. She found some curtains for me. Now, really, I loved the fabric and that's what I wanted. I thought, wow....I can make a throw out of this for my bed or my couch. Or maybe some really large pillows for the bed or couch!!! (It's not stiff fabric.) Anyway, there were two packages and they were marked $1!!!! So I got them. Once I got them home I thought, duh. I need curtains for my formal living room. So now, I'm going to find some inexpensive sheers and finish the window in the living room.

Now, my friend, it appeared was not so lucky. She found lovely curtains too and they were marked 50% off the final price. Originally, they were $60 each. Marked down to $30 each. She saw that they would be $15 and we agreed it was a great price. She also found a package of sheers for about $20, if memory serves me right. So, she would be able to dress a window with floor length curtains and sheers for a large window (71x84) for about $80. She picked up some other stuff too, like a dust ruffle, etc. Anyway, at the check out the cashier tells her, Oh, let me give you those curtains for $1 a package!! She got curtains for her formal dining room for $3!!!!! She felt like a rock star. And, I was humbled. She IS a rock star. We were laughing our heads off at how it pays to crawl around on the floor and search for good deals. So, I'm taking her shopping from now on!!!!

We spent the days shopping in little boutiques, junk shops, antique malls and home decor shops. So many wonderful ideas were running around in my head. I really want to save up money and go back. There were so many things I hated to leave behind!! And, I frequently said, Wouldn't this be gorgeous with all my quilts in it??? And, I saw lots of old quilts too. I would have loved to bring them home, but they were more than my little budget could afford. I did get one pic. Most of the time, the junk shops were so crowded, it was difficult to get pics. This one was hand quilted beautifully.

I really could go on and on about our time away.....but I won't. I'm very grateful for the break and glad I had an amazing friend to spend that time with.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010

Respite Trip!!!!

I just started blogging again after a yucky bout with a cold and then a stomach bug and....

Now I'm leaving for a respite trip. Definition: an interval of rest or relief. Ahhhh. Most of you know that I am a full time caregiver for my chronically ill husband, and have been for a bit over ten years. My girlfriend and I have been talking about taking some time off and enjoy ourselves and we're finally doing it.

We're heading out tomorrow morning and we'll be back on Friday sometime. We've reserved a two bedroom suite in a quaint little town about four hours from here. We're going to watch movies, eat popcorn, shop, giggle, share chocolate, get manicures and pedicures, dine out, stay up late and sleep in.

Here are a couple of pics of the B&B where we are staying...... I chose this one because of the quilts in every room!!

It's been a year since I've taken time away. Last time I went to my dad's 80th birthday. I should have done this sooner. I should have made it a priority, but life has a tendency to get in the way.

And, we've just checked the weather conditions for the latest update and they are predicting a 60% chance of SNOW!!!!!! Living on the Gulf Coast, we don't see much of the white stuff, so this could be fun. We're staying very close to the shops and restaurants, so no real danger for two southern girls with little snow experience.

I'll try to take some pics while I'm gone to share. And, I hope to make a stop at a quilt shop there in town. This is gonna be fun!!!!!!

**************scream*************** I'm just too excited!!!!!!!!!

Happy Quilting!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Goings on.....

Whew. Looks like I've kicked the cold, finally. I'm feeling so much better!! Thanks so much for all the get well wishes.

A few days ago, I received this book in the mail. I won it in a giveaway! Sandy at Quilting Nanny had a quick giveaway on her blog and I was able to answer a question on her blog correctly. (Fortunately, she gave us second chances and a few more hints!!!) Anyway, the book she sent me was this one:

I'm excited to go through and try my hand at making some post cards. I tried making one once and as I told Sandy, it was pretty sad. Maybe I'll be able to improve, and who knows, maybe I'll even make one or two and send them out to some bloggy friends!!!!! Thanks so much Sandy for the great book!!!

And, I need another project like I need a hole in my head, but I'm doing it sue me!! LOL Heidi is having a great quilt along that I just had to join in!!! Here is a link to the pic she's a postage stamp quilt. Seriously, go ahead and click over there and look at it!!!! It's something I've ALWAYS wanted to do. This is providing a great motivator to get it started. Here is where you'll find the first stage of the Postage Stamp Quilt Along. And there is a button to add to your blog to show that you are playing along!!! The first tutorial will be posted on the 21st, so there is plenty of time to decide to join along. Can't wait!!!

I've been pulling boxes out of the garage over the past few days, going through them, throwing things away, pulling out things that belong to other family members, placing books on the book shelves and finding donation items, etc. Well, I ran across a box full of fabric I culled from my stash before the move. It's older, cheaper fabric that I no longer love. I still like the way it looks, but the quality is not as great as I like to work with now. I'm sure you remember those days when you bought not so good fabric before you knew what the good stuff was. And, quite a bit was given to me. Anyway, when I was getting ready to move, I decided that I would use that fabric to strip and add to my drawers of scrap fabric. I didn't have time to start cutting it before the move and would do it later, once I got settled. Well, here it is in two buckets.

Getting ready for the postage stamp quilt along, I wanted to use some of this I pulled it out and started cutting it into 1 1/2 inch strips. Then I thought I'd go ahead and cut more strips in other sizes.... Here are the 1 1/2 strips I got cut. I know, there aren't that many. I got distracted!!

And, the other sizes are here, waiting to be sorted into their respective drawers. Notice the fabric on top??? It's gilded. It's good quality fabric, but I can't stand the gold glittery stuff. Someone bought me about ten 1/4 yard cuts of it years ago. I never could make myself use it, but didn't want to throw it out. I think it will be fine in small doses in a scrap quilt.

I didn't make much of a dent, did I??? As I was digging through the bucket, I found these leftover blocks from a project I did about 4-5 years ago. And, then are poorly sewn. Blah. Notice there isn't enough of a seam allowance and when I sew these blocks together, the points will be cut off. I think it was an issue of not knowing how to sew a 1/4 seam allowance.

But, there were 16 of them, and I hate to waste even bad blocks, so what did I do??? Just slapped those babies together and made a doll quilt. Who cares if the points are missing??? I'm pretending an 8 year old made them!!!! I'm not adding a border. And, if I had some batting, I might have quilted it!!! But, batting and I'm not up to making a run to the store. (I really need to get some purchased at some point!)

I still don't have all the strips cut that I needed for the quilt along, but I got lots done!!! I think I might need to change my name to Elmer Fudd cause I like to chase rabbits. Oh, well, I had a good time. *smile*

Happy Quilting and Rabbit Chasing!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sniffle, sniffle, sneeze, sneeze......

I'm still alive and kicking, but barely. Actually, how ridiculous is it for a common cold to knock you off your feet for 5 days??? I'm seriously exhausted. And, I have a feeling it may be the weekend before I'm better. I can just "feel" it.

I'm spending lots of quality time watching t.v. (Investigation Discovery, HGTV, TV Land) and I've played Tetris, read blogs, listened to sermons online (I really do enjoy it), had cups of coffee with Dear Hubby, taken naps, gotten lots of hand quilting done, visited with friends on Facebook, looked at quilting magazines, and taken naps. And, have I mentioned naps?? Yep, been resting alot.

But, you know, it's all good. I take my health for granted. I am needed and rarely do I get sick and have to take time "off". I'm blessed that my son is able to fill in and help in caring for my husband while I'm not well. My daughters clean and cook and grocery shop. I have much to be grateful for. And, you know, sometimes taking time to rest is a good thing.

Happy Quilting!!!!!!