Sunday, October 29, 2006

Wonderful Present

This beautiful quilt showed up in my mail yesterday. It was made by a group of quilters with whom I have been corresponding and sharing since 2001. I love these little boats. They are so much fun. The blocks came from quilters on three different continents-- Europe, Australia, and North America. The top was designed and pieced in Oklahoma. It was quilted in Australia and Florida, and bound in Illinois and Florida. (I am not sure how that worked, but that is what the label says...) It is such happy quilt. I am sure it will get years of use.

My parents left for home this morning. They sure were a huge help these last two weeks, but I suppose I need to stand on my own, now. But they made sure I had a fridge and freezer full of food before they left. Mom even made a fresh batch of peach flavored iced tea for me. While they were here, they made sure the big kids did not have to miss a soccer practice or a Lego Robotics meeting. They watched the little ones so I could go to my oldest's first orchestra concert. Mom and I cleaned out the kids' dressers and went through the boxes of stored clothes. I don't know what I would have done without them. And they also brought my kids to visit me in the hospital, which was a tall order.

On the list of people who came to my rescue... My husband's younger brother who started sleeping with his cell phone so he could come take care of our kids in the middle of the night if I went into labor. We left for the hospital at 2am, so he came in the middle of the night and saw the kids off to school the next morning. My former neighbor and best friend, also a quilter, who came and rescued my brother-in-law who needed to go to work. She took the kids for the rest of the day, until my brother-in-law and his wonderful wife came and got them. She spent a lot of the day running back and forth between our two houses getting kids off buses and making sure no one was home alone for any length of time. How she did it? I don't know. But I owe her big. Both of my husband's brothers and their wives brought me food in the hospital so I didn't have to eat gross hospital food.

So this week I will learn how to function with four kids. I have a couple of easy errands planned. Halloween costumes are all taken care of. I need to plan out some meals with the food I have. And I need to learn to take things easy. Oh, and Jorge Cruise's 8 Minutes in the Morning needs to start again. I want to get back into my skinny jeans soon!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

He's Here!

Here is a picture of our new arrival. I hope to be back into a routine soon, but we'll have to see how that goes. He is sleeping pretty well and enjoying life with his siblings.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

On My Doorstep

I found these on my doorstep Thursday evening when I opened the door to call the kids in for bed. They are from Mr. Dave next door. He has a beautiful lawn and garden. We watch him working in his garden in the evenings while we eat dinner. Anyway, I have one recipe that I make from fresh tomatoes, so we had that for dinner last night. It is called Southwestern Pasta. You chop up the tomatoes, add olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, chili powder, white pepper, salt, and garlic. Let that sit all day on the counter. I shake the container every once in a while. Then, serve that over spaghetti with some blue or feta cheese on top. The kids don't eat it, but I just give them spaghetti with freshly grated parmesan instead. I use one tomato per person. I usually serve Sister Schubert's rolls with it.

I just heard that my quilt top and backing arrived at its destination. I have to say, I wasn't really worried. Maybe I just have too many other things on my mind these days.

I got started on my Little Treasures. These are a lot of fun to make. A hint from my friend Rebecca... She traced the pattern onto card stock and then modified it until she liked the shape. She then scanned that into her computer. Now she has a template that she can make any size. She didn't like the shape of the top on the original. I thought that was a great idea. Oh, and her children enjoyed decorating the card stock boxes.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Fabric Shopping

A friend picked me up for lunch today, and we decided to hit Tiny Stitches on our way home. I really was just going to browse a little bit, but I found these great batiks that I just couldn't leave there. They only had it in 7 colors, which seems a little odd. But I am sure I can figure something out. I did search on the internet for other colors when I got home, but I could only find a mint or sage green, and I really didn't like it. I was hoping for a yellow.

I also found this great pirate fabric. It was actually the backing fabric for a kit, and they didn't have any more in the store. I really didn't want the rest of the kit, so the owner sold me the two yards that were in the kit. I thought that was very sweet of her, since I don't know what she will do with the rest of the kit. I don't know what I will do with this fabric, either, but it is great fabric.I have not been buying a lot of fabric recently, so today was a big splurge. It was fun, though. I also went to Target, but that isn't very exciting...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

It Got Mailed

I mailed the quilt top and backing and thread this morning. Now to sit back, relax, and enjoy someone else doing the quilting. Right?

Baby Blankets Galore

I finished 5 baby blankets yesterday afternoon. These are so easy, but so useful. I use a 45 inch square piece of flannel. I then use either another 45 inch square piece of flannel or regular cotton. I sew them together pillowcase style, turn them, and then top stitch around the edge. They are great because they are so big and soft. So many baby blankets you buy are only 30 inches. The extra 15 inches allows you to really swaddle up that baby good. I tend to buy my flannel in 5 yard pieces at JoAnn's using a coupon. That is why so many of them are the same. They are going to different families. I may have to go back and get more of the monster flannel though, because I really fell in love with it.

The refrigerator is fixed. The disposal is fixed. It is nice to have everything working in the kitchen again. I bought gallons of milk yesterday, and we drank a whole gallon last night. I guess we were all missing milk, even though I was buying a new half gallon every day. I guess everyone just wanted to pour from the big jug. I also bought frozen food. The kids were happy to have their French Toast Sticks back for breakfast this morning.

Tonight at the Contemporary Quilt and Fiber Arts Alliance meeting we are going to work on Little Treasures from Quilting Arts Winter 2005. So I will spend part of today getting some things layered together for that. I think we will spend tonight embellishing them. I can see this as a great gift box for earrings, a gift card, or something else small.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Finished One and Sending One Out

I finished the binding on the Brown Bag Lady quilt. A little background... Our local store has a program called the Bag Lady program. You join for $25. Three shopping visits during the year, at your choosing, you get 15% off your purchase. For your birthday, you get 25% off of your purchase. And then, every other time you buy something, you get 5% off. Each month they offer a Bag Lady Quilt. It is a kit that you buy that comes pretty much cut out. And you come into the shop and sew all day or all evening for $5. And, it includes a meal. Anyway, one year, a few years ago, I decided to do a couple of these. And, well, they didn't get done. So now I am trying to finish them up. I love the colors in this one. And I used it last night to cuddle up in while watching "The Amazing Race" and eating my popcorn.

This second quilt is just a top and was a block of the month at the same shop. You know, one of those where you pay $5 the first month, and then, as long as you get your block done by the next month it is free... It also has been sitting around for a couple of years. So I decided to send it out to be quilted. It is going out today. I have never done that before, but I really need to let things go. So it will go out Priority Mail in about an hour. I am pretty excited as it will make a great Christmas present for my niece. And, it is on my Pick 4 list, even though it is one of the ones I bumped.

I have yet to figure out where to take quilt pictures in this house. For these, I spread them on the floor in the foyer and then took the picture from upstairs. It didn't quite work. They look catywampus, but really are square. The pictures are also a little dark, but that is because it is cloudy. The foyer usually has great sun in the mornings. I am just going to have to set up a clothes line somewhere to use.

I found enough batting in my sewing room to layer the twins' quilts, so that will definitely get done today. (If I can find the basting pins or the rain holds off so I can spray them outside. ) I also have a few baby blankets to stitch up for a couple of friends. And, the fridge guy is coming to fix the fridge today. I will move the sewing machine upstairs for the afternoon, so I can sew and listen for the door at the same time.

Edited to add: It is Columbus Day, so the quilt will have to go out tomorrow. I went to the bank, noticed it was closed, but just used the ATM. Then I went to the post office where it dawned on me that the bank was closed because it it is a federal holiday. So, Happy Columbus Day to everyone. I sure hope my middle child comes home from school having learned about Columbus today.

One more thing... This Friday, October 13th, the last Lemony Snickey Series of Unfortunate Events book comes out. Just a heads up to the moms out there whose kids will think they are so cool for getting them this book first!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Clearing History

I have been really upset this week. I have been uptight and out of sorts. I just realized what it was. I started reading a blog about school policies and testing. It is a subject I am interested in. What I didn't realize, because I didn't look closely enough, was that the writer had an agenda to abolish public education. On Monday, she started using the tragedy at the Amish School to explain why people should not attend public school. This reasoning really upset me. And, like an idiot, I kept going back to the blog to read what the author was saying and what comments were coming up. Well, I just cleared the history on my browser. I have no idea what the web address for this blog is, and I will never read it again. I feel like a new person.

I am going back to reading about quilting and the lives of the quilters I have come to think of as friends. It isn't that I don't want to read opposing points of view. It isn't that I don't want to read what reasonable people are thinking. I have especially enjoyed Dorothy's blog this week. She and I tend to be on the same side of the political fence. But I have also, in the past, enjoyed reading Teri's blog on political stuff, and she and I tend to be polar opposites. I am very intrigued by Teri's miniatures, by the way. I was very uplifted by Tracey's blog this week, and am so glad that she is fine. She and I are the same age, pretty much, so her health issue put my taking my health for granted in perspective. And, when my fridge died, I thought of Rebecca's post from September 18th and decided that a broken fridge wasn't so bad after all. Oh, and I love the shirt Debra and her mom are making. Jane Ann's post about talking Southern really made me laugh. As a person who is considered a Southerner up North and a Yankee down South, it really struck me as funny. No, I am sure I don't have an accent!

Tonight, while I watch Lost, I will finish the binding on my brown bag lady quilt. Tomorrow, I will get the twins' quilts layered, and maybe visit JoAnn's for some black fabric to make the boys' NFL quilts. And Friday, I will get my hair cut. Too bad he doesn't work in a full service salon anymore because I could use a spa pedicure. Just to make my life easier, I am sending my first quilt to a long arm quilter. I just need to get up the nerve to do it. (The quilt is not the first quilt I ever made, just the first quilt to get sent out. Don't want to confuse anyone. The first quilt I ever made, well, I may finish it one day.)

And I will continue to enjoy Dorothy's trip through Vermont. And I will start reading the John Adams book because I have a huge thirst for historical knowledge right now.