Friday, April 29, 2011

Organizing Tips

I was roaming through Target the other day (always a dangerous thing) and found this in the Bath section.  I am always looking for ideas to make my life easier in my quilt studio.  I don't have a lot of room on the right hand side of my machine and I have things that I like to get at easily.  They had black (shows too much dust), white (boring!), and this green (it's alright, I guess).  I would have liked to have pink or red.  I thought this would be a great idea.  What do you think?

Then in the same section I purchased a shower rod and hooks to hang things on the outside of my closet, since I have so much in the closet that there isn't any room to hang anything.  It's great for hanging those quilt tops I need to quilt.  I also am not sure how I will eventually use the hooks.  The bag on the right holds the bindings needed to finish some of those quilts.

I do not have any finished projects are even anything in progress to show because I am working diligently on a quilt for Jeremy for the store.  It will be a block of the month and I am not suppose to show you any of it till it is hanging in the store but it is absolutely beautiful.  These are the fabrics.  If it wasn't such a rush job it would be more fun to piece together.  There are 50 billion pieces and literally over 20 pages of instructions.  I'm on the last page, putting on the four, count them four!!!, borders, three of which are pieced.  I can hardly wait till it is done.  I was suppose to get it done YESTERDAY two weeks ago when I received it.  I hope to work on it today but I also have two of our grandchildren for three days.  Hopefully next week I can work on something completely different.

Cindy Cooksey came to our guild last night and her quilts were inspiring.  I just want to get into the studio and create!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Enjoy the simple thing in life...

Like the first strawberries of the season!

I hope you take the time to read this and at the end I will explain.

A mom's Ode to coffee

Opening my eyes, I realize my alarm is going off. What, is it morning already? Just a few hours ago I was feeding the baby now the morning is calling me. The bills need to be paid. The laundry hamper is bursting and the kitchen sink is overflowing with dirty dishes. The day's work is calling me. I push myself out of bed and head toward the kitchen. Before I can begin to tackle the days work, I must first get my start up fuel, coffee. Yes I need that wonderful dark elixir of life sustaining fluid. That delightful wake inducing alert medicine I can't do without. God so wonderfully gave us the beans to roast and to brew into a drink to assist us in a productive day. I must have coffee! I enter into the kitchen to see the coffee maker sitting on the counter ready for me to add the required ingredients to produce the delicious dark liquid. Before My hand could make it to the coffee pot my young daughter walked in. "I'm hungry mama." The baby soon followed with cries from his bed. Ok, I will get kids breakfast, then I make my coffee and relax and enjoy it. I get the baby and put him into the highchair as my daughter climbs into her chair at the table. Drinks first for the kids, milk for the baby and chocolate milk for the older one. Next bananas and toast. That is quick and easy breakfast to put together so I can get back to the coffee pot. Once the kids are settle I grab the coffee pot and fill the desired amount of water. I think I'll put in a little extra water in case I want an extra cup later. I pour the water into the maker and pull out my canister holding the coffee grounds. Opening the lid my nostrils are filled with the bold aroma of the coffee grounds. The neurons in my brain start to fire. Almost there. Ok, water in? Check. Grounds in filter? Check. Alright hit the on button and wait for the magic to begin. By now my daughter wants more and the baby has turned what was left of his banana to mush in his hands. I cleaned the baby up and gave him the crusts from his sister toast then I made another piece of toast for my daughter and some for me. I set the plates down and remembered I don't like eating without my cup of coffee. I grab a mug from the cupboard and add sugar and milk to it and head over to the coffee maker. Is it ready yet? No! I have to wait some more? I should not have added the extra water. It causes the process to take longer. I wait impatiently with my mug in my hand. Soon my head is starting to hurt demanding coffee. Yuck, a lack of caffeine headache. I waited too long for my coffee and now my body is demanding it. I can hear the sucking noise of the coffee maker pulling the last bit of water from the reservoir into the filter with the grounds. Almost there. I can see the coffee going from a steady stream into the coffee pot to just a dribble. Ugh, I can't wait any longer. I grab the pot carefully to make sure no extra drips fall out and pour the steaming liquid into mug. Finally! I replace the pot to finish the process and grab hold of my mug. I bring the mug to my lips and savor the aroma before I take my first sip. The neurons start to fire some more and I take that glorious first sip. A tingling sensation runs down me after I taste the bold flavor of the coffee. Yes! I have my coffee. I quickly take more sips. Ah, I fell better already. I turn back with my coffee to my breakfast which is now cold. My daughter and the baby are done with their breakfast and are ready to be let loose. Breakfast will have to wait until the children are settled down with some toys to distract them. Oh well, that's ok. At least I now have my cup of coffee.

Remeber a few posts ago the picture of my two grandkids in the middle of the hallway with the cereal surrounding them?  Well, this was written by my daughter, Katrina, their mother.  For those of you who were mothers of little children, you remember those days and the struggle just to get the day started.  This just touches my heart.  I remember when I was a young mom, there was a little poem about forgetting all around you, just spend time with your children.  We sometimes forget the little things in life, like how important our first cup of coffee is as we settle into our day with our children.  Take joy in the simple things!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday Keira!

We celebrated Keira's birthday yesterday (a few days early) and here she is with the quilt I made her.  She loves quilts and always wants to take them home with her.  This one is for her bed. 
Here is Jillian with the bag I made her.  She was so excited that it was finally finished.  I'm anxious to hear how her friends liked it.  She wanted one to take to school for her books.  I hope it works out for her.
I spent all day quilting this table runner for my Machine Quilting Class 2.  Jeremy wants the students to come with a specific project to quilt.  So each student comes with the top of this table runner sewn and then we quilt it in class.  These are not my colors at all and it was difficult to get excited about it but we wanted something that would show the quilting.  I did enjoy the quilting but it is amazing how long it takes to quilt even just a small table runner.

Tomorrow is our Loose Threads group but I have to miss it due to an Orange Blossom Board meeting.  I really need to be at the Board meeting.  Besides I don't even have my project for Loose Threads started.  I think I now know what to do but I need to find the time.  Why does that always seem to be an issue?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Two finishes in Ontario, CA

I'm down in Southern Ca (Ontario) with my husband as he attends a CWEA (California Water Environment Association) convention.  The weather is beautiful, in the high 80's and I am sitting in a hotel room sewing.  I do leave to walk down the street to Starbucks.  Priorities you know!  I have been frustrated though, because I didn't think through what I was cutting before I left and am not happy with the bags I need to make.  The one at the left is for a class sample and I think it is boring.  If I would have thought out the project better I could have made it a little more interesting.  Sometimes patterns are not clear where the fabric placement is.  I feel like I now have a handle of the pattern and would do this differently.  So I may make another one.

This is for a young girl in our church.  It still needs some funky buttons which I need to search for.  She picked the fabric.  She didn't want anything flashing.  I hope she likes it.  It is definitely not flashy enough for me.

The other projects I have to sew are not working out either.  Fabric placement again.  I'm finding I am trying to rush things.  I have a project due for our Loose Threads group that I can't seem to get my head around.  I know what I want to do but can't find the fabric to make it work.  I have decided not to rush it and it will have to wait till next month.  I hate going to group when I haven't done anything but I really want this piece to work and I am excited with the idea.  So, I am going to take my time and enjoy what I do.  No more rushing.  If it is not done, oh well, that's life! 

Monday, April 11, 2011

French Braid Class Quilts

These are just some of the quilts from my French Braid Class. They still have a little work to do but they promised to send pictures.  Didn't they do a great job!


This "Wacky" class quilt is done!  I finished the quilting this weekend and the binding.  I even have a sleeve on it and will put the label on it tonight.  I hope I have students for my class.  Just waiting for the class schedule to come out.

Look what came in the mail today!  I am working on collecting fabric for a joint effort and ordered this "Stonehenge" by Northcott.  I also received two backgrounds but they were too boring to show.  Go to Fabric Depot and look at all the beautiful colors.  My pictures today are not very good.  I really need some training (Barbara!) in this area.

I have to work on my Loose Threads project this evening.  Since Jeff has a meeting tonight I should have some time, if I don't run out of energy.  Jeff has a convention down south at the end of the week, and I am going along for the ride so I can sew without any distractions.  I'm bringing lots of projects!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Best of the Valley Quilt Show

It's that time again for the Best of the Valley Quilt show.  I went Friday and was a docent and sold tickets and spent money.  The best things I bought were from Kristin Eilers who now is selling her hand dyes and had her own booth for the first time.  You go girl!  I wish I would have bought more but I know where to find her!

Janice Minyard was the guest artist. I love her work because she is a well rounded quilter. You can see her traditional roots but she is entering the art quilting world. Her machine quilting is just amazing.  I am really going to miss her when she moves to the coast this summer.  I hope we can visit her!  (Diane took the picture.  The one I took didn't show her work.  Thanks Diane!)

The quilts at the show were amazing.  The talent out there is inspiring but I felt really depressed and overwhelmed with the direction of my own work.  I feel like I haven't had the time this year to develop into the artist I someday want to be.  Time restraints have been a huge issue and I have noticed that more and more I don't have time to get into the studio.  With kids out of the house, it should be my time now.  So I have decided (with the help of my friend Grace!) to re-evaluate my priorities and quit some things.  I want to work on some ideas I have for original work and spend more time improving in the areas that I lack in. 

This is Becky and Daniel getting into the cereal and I can only imagine what Katrina felt when she saw this.  Overwhelmed I'm sure!  Well, this is how I see my life right now.  Overwhelmed and not knowing what to do next.  I guess you start by disciplining the kids and them pick up the mess.  Discipline my life, pick up the pieces and start all over!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

And the winner is...

Wacky Woman and Julie Shepherd.  Actually it is two winners.  This are the only two responses that I received on naming my 9 patch pizazz.  I combined the suggestions from both and came up with "Mai Tai Tango".  I love it!  Ladies, send me your addresses so I can send you your fat quarters.  Thank you for responding.

Now one to some new stuff!

This is one of my next classes.  Hochy Mama blocks by Mary Lou Wideman.  Pretty wild!  I just love it.
I hope to get it quilted this week between all the busyness.

I wanted to show you pictures from my French Braid class but I can seem to download the night class.  The day class is Monday, so after that class I'll post all of them.

Here's Daniel.  We are celebrating his first birthday tomorrow, even though his birthday was on March 17th.  Between all the illness with the kids and work and just everyday craziness, we could not get it all together.  It should be fun and crazy with all the kids.