Saturday, December 24, 2011

jingle bells, jingle bells

Sadly, there's no snow here this year for Christmas.  It's certainly cold & windy, which is the usual for Chicago, but it's strange to not have snow on the ground.  Maybe we'll get some flurries yet! 

It's nice to be home for the holidays and relax around the house with family & fun.  No schedules, no alarm clocks, lots of laughter and lots of hugs - nothing beats being home for Christmas!  Yesterday, the ducks were out on the pond, swimming away; but today there's a layer of ice across the pond. 

Last night mom & I made Holiday Cake and skewered and browned the City Chicken.  Now all that's left is getting the City Chicken into the oven for dinner - yum yum!  This year was a small batch - only 70 sticks. The average is closer to 90.  I like the traditions that come with this time of year - the food, the decorations, the songs, hanging the stockings, etc.  Makes the season a bit more cheerful with the years of memories and repetitions of the traditions of the season.  I'm looking forward to Christmas Mass, now that  we have the new translations.  The new responses still trip me up here and there, but the prayers are beautiful and I'm sure will be especially so for Christmas.

Wishing you & yours a Merry Christmas full of cheer & JOY!

Monday, December 12, 2011

sneak peeks

Interested in some sneak peeks at my current projects?  Of course you are!  That's why you're here right?  Right!  ;)   Well, then you're in luck.

 It's been hard to find time for sewing lately.  Seems it's busy at work and home and even busy while I'm sleeping.  Not sure how that happens, but it does!   This week I've had all the School Blocks come in for our annual School BLock Challenge contest.  It's always thrilling to see what the kids have created and imagined and I'm extra thrilled because this year I have 176 blocks!!  How awesome is that?!  So I spent several days numbering blocks, databasing them and measuring to get ready for judging.  phew.

Then I had to work Saturday with a couple events - cookie decorating with quilt designs - yummy.  Mostly, the kids just decorate as they desire - quilt designs tend to be optional for them!  Afterwards, took my first trip to Bowling Green with N for a fun Christmas Party.  Great time out (even if it was people I hadn't met) & we road tripped to satellite radio's 90s station - talk about a blast from the past!

In be-tween that, and getting my Christmas cards written & mailed last week (possibly the earliest ever) I managed to squeeze in some quilting.  I've got a couple more mug rugs together, a project on deck, a secret project and some swapping interests as well!

secret project
Here's a glimpse of my secret project - can't give it all away yet!  I took some inspiration from a tutorial on Ellison Lane Quilts blog and am just about finished with this one.  It looks awesome and should be done this week.

My upcoming  project will be pretty quick to go together once I have the time to start it without interruptions.  I've seen this tutorial at In Color Order, and wanted to make this star quilt as a mini quilt for my sewing room wall.  At the Houston show I got the idea to use polka dot fabrics in varying colors and started to collect some good colors.  I've got the fabric all lined up and a fun dot fabric in white for the backing and will probably start this in January at quilt retreat.  
don't you just love these dots?!

Lastly, I keep reading and seeing posts about online swaps and want to participate in at least 2 next year.  I discovered this swap, via Flickr, and am excited to be involved!  It starts in January and is an easy block swap: making blocks, sending them in and then getting back the same number of blocks made by other people.  I just have to spend some time making the blocks now so I have a good number to send off come January.  The block is super awesome - we're using this tutorial  by Amy at badskirt blog.  Be sure to check it out!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Snapshot #7

Fall has been wonderful here.  Nice sunny, blustery days with those skidding grey clouds across the blue-blue sky.  Trees turned some wonderful shades of golden yellow, rich reds & crisp oranges - mostly set against some of the stubborn holdout green. 

Some of the best days have those wonderfully brisk mornings and the sun peeking out to set the trees on fire.  On those days, I miss being able to smell McCormick spices in the air after stepping out of the door.

 The down side for these days is that it gets dark at 5pm.  It completely screws up the body clock so that I think it's later than it really is.  I figure in another couple weeks that will even out enough.  Here's a great snapshot from the other night.  Taken after I got off work, before it got truly dark!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

wedding day finish

A couple months ago (already?) I flew back to Baltimore to be in the wedding of my college roommate.  It was a jam packed weekend full of laughs, hugs, family, tears, friends & good times.  I was glad to be there early and help out with the last minute details.  It made me feel even more a part of the wedding party since I've been out of state for the early planning & parties.  Even after the wedding, I was able to sit down & catch up with more friends before time traveling back home.

C & I wrapped bouquets, ran errands, picked up dresses, set-up the hall and had a grand time all around. Sometimes it's hard to imagine we've only been friends for 5 years and not for always!  Love you Chrissy!

As a surprise for C, I brought her finished quilt! [back story here] I got it all bound, labelled & washed in time to pack it into my carry-on luggage and was super excited to finally deliver it.  I ended up naming it Colorburst, & had some fun with the photo shoot for this one so of course, I had to share with you!  The dress on the quilt is my favorite shot though - such a stunning contrast.  The wedding was beautiful and I'm so glad Chrissy & Bernie found each other.  :)  

happy ever after starts now

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

mug rug mix up

mug rug    noun
         :: a small, coaster-sized quilt where you can set your cup & snack together

     - I set my milk & cookies down on a mug rug so I don't get crumbs on my papers.

Mug rugs are fairly easy to make since they don't require a lot of fabric, or lots of time to create - and they make great gifts!   You can make them any size, shape and color so it gives you some freedom of expression.  I like that they are quick to make start to finish and give me a break between the larger projects.  I also like to use them to try out some new techniques on a small scale with scraps to see if I like it enough to make on a larger scale.

Oh, did I mention that they are addicting as all get out?  
So be warned: you can't make just one.  :)

Here are some that I am in process of making at the moment.  

(and no, they are not all for me!) 

Monday, October 17, 2011


The last few weeks have been full of some great Fall-type weather.  It's been sunny and not too warm (mid-70s or so) during the day paired with some cool crisp mornings where you step outside and shiver on the way to the car.  The kind of morning where you're glad to be alive, when you inhale and just feel invigorated from that one breath.

Today was another one of those great days and what made it even better was not watching it through my office window.  While everyone else was heading to work and the usual 9-5, I was sleeping in without an alarm (finally), making bacon & eggs for breakfast and heading out for a adventure.  It was like playing hooky, but actually having the day off  - a win/win!

I haven't gotten out to many woodsy areas for hiking yet.  I try to take a walk each day around the neighborhood, but that's usually in the evenings and not very difficult.  This weekend I finally gave into the urge to go hiking and checked out some of the surrounding places.  I ended up at Ferne Clyffe State Park in IL which was beautiful.  Some muted colors in the trees, huge rock formations 7 bluffs and some easy to follow trails.  

For those inquiring minds, (you know who you are...) I packed a lunch & a snack, my camera, picked up a map at the office, but did not have a compass.  The ranger told me about the easy/moderate trails and even showed me where to go to start so I figured I couldn't get too lost!   ;)

this was huge amphitheater-like cave - awesome!

It was great to get outdoors and into nature for a bit. It was also really good timing as the news informed me that a cold front is coming in this week so I'm glad I stole some outdoor-Fall time while I could.  Tomorrow it's back to work and the busy-busy-busy - hope all of you readers made it outside at some point this weekend.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

work in progress

Greetings dear readers!  
   Here's an in-progress shot of my current quilt project and a story:

This is made from purple, pink, orange, yellow & teal fabrics that I had collected at quilt shows and it stayed all pretty & stacked in a box until I found the right project for it.  It uses the Yellow Brick Road pattern and some pre-printed panels with various Psalm verses on it.  The backing is a purple print - her favorite color and the border is pink with a teal binding.  I thought the colors and the Psalms would make a great quilt for my friend - runs with scissors - who is always cold!  After piecing the top together in January I thought I'd have enough time to finish it for her birthday in August as a surprise. 

The surprise was on me however, because I ended up switching jobs and moved several states away! So the quilt had to be packed up unfinished. :(  I had the quilt basted and partially quilted before I moved, but once I settled in & pulled it back out I decided I didn't like the quilting anymore and ripped. it. all. out.   

   The quilt sat, basted & ready to go *again* waiting for the right quilt pattern and time to work on it. Meanwhile, said friend went & got engaged (yay!) and the fact that I will see her next month gave me a deadline to get this finished.   It's quilted with meandering peacock-like feathers, loose threads are tied off, binding made & attached.  

Now all I need to do is trim the extra, finish the binding off by hand and create a label then pack it up and hand deliver it.  Did I say that's all?   It will end up being more of a wedding gift than a birthday gift but eventually make it's way home.  I hope the groom-to-be likes purple & pink! 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday snapshot #6

Who said summer was over? Sure, the kids have been back in school for a couple weeks already, but does that mean we should just roll up the summer fun and store it away for next year? Of course not!  

 In order to keep a few parts of summery goodness a little longer I put together a peach pie. Well, more of a peachberry pie as I threw in some frozen berries that I had to liven it up a little. I found a great recipe on that turned out to be fantastic!

So drool over this gorgeous pie all you want and imagine just how great it tastes!  Especially with a side of vanilla ice cream.  ;)


Saturday, August 20, 2011

a serious problem

I think I have a problem dear readers - a serious problem.  Right now, I'm currently in the middle of 3 books and ready to jump into another 2 or 3!  Ack! I find it amazing that the brain can keep track of all these story lines and characters and that it hasn't yet driven me crazy to keep slipping from one setting to the next.  Which books am I immersed in you ask?  

1. Linger by Maggie Stiefvater - number 2 in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series
         Now that book 3 has come out, I had to go back and start from the beginning again to remember what all what on in Shiver

2. The Help - Kathryn Stockett
       Yes, I'm 1 of hundreds reading this, & technically, I'm listening to this on CD as all the actual copies are on hold for forever.

3. Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire - J.K. Rowling of course!
        After watching the end of the movie series, I got the itch to re-read the books so I started at the beginning and am enjoying my way through *again*

**edit: since writing this I managed to read a 4th book from the library stack! seriously, I'm out of control here.... :)

This way I can read at home, at lunch as desired and in the car around town! I even have a couple other books from the library patiently waiting to be read before their deadlines.  As it happens, every time I have books on hold from the library - they all come in at the same time! - and then I have only 2 weeks to read them before they go back onto the shelf.

I also have a stack of books on long-term loan from mom that are also patiently waiting to be opened and read.  So as you can see, I've got a serious problem at the moment - too many books to read & not enough time or eyes to do it in! What's a girl to do? Cram in as much reading as she can until her eyes go blurry seems to be the best solution. Of course, that tends to be a problem once you factor in all those silly day to day things we do.

What's on your reading list? 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

sampler style

I've finished up my 12 blocks for the Summer Sampler series.  It was my first quilt-a-long and I thoroughly enjoyed the process of putting these blocks together. The masterminds behind it chose some great blocks and I'm sure some of them will be showing up as Junior Quilter or Quilt Camp projects in the future!  I'm glad that my fabric choices held out since a couple of them were leftover pieces from other projects - that made choosing colors for some of the blocks complicated as I didn't always have enough of one print to work where I wanted.
12 of 12 blocks - done!

I love how they all work together and I'll be debating sashing colors, borders, quilting design etc. in order to finish this up.  I especially enjoyed the fact that I could do these blocks on my time and sit with them as long as I needed for color selection and techniques.  It was nice to not feel rushed to finish them in a specific time frame and wonderful to see all the blocks in the flickr pool.  I'll be on the lookout for the next quilt-a-long that strikes my fancy and working on some ongoing projects in the meantime!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

un ano en la vida

Today's the day dear readers!  Today is my 1 year mark here in Paducah - can you believe it?!  There's a small part of me that feels like it popped up out of nowhere on me, but it's been a good year all around.  New friends, new city, new job, a friends' wedding, lots of quilting, sorting out my own apartment, exploring new places - it's been a year full of good adventures and local flavor!

 It'll be fun to know what's coming up at work now that I've experienced the events and projects over the year and start to branch out a bit with ideas and programs.  It'll also be good to keep venturing out to various places in the area and explore some more. (Maybe even get some friends to visit out here this year *hinthint*)

Highs:: i really love my job; i am closer to M&D to visit; getting to explore a different area

Lows:: it's far away from good friends; missing out on being part of the wedding planning of said good friends

I've celebrated with some ice cream at the newly opened Cold Stone (yumm), dinner & a movie with friends and the knowledge all day at work that today was my day - here's to the first year and the one to come!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Sampler

150px Summer Sampler Series BadgeI've joined in with my first blogging quilt-a-long! I'll be joining in with the Summer Sampler Series as seen on these blogs: Swim, bike, quilt & Freshly Pieced & Fresh Lemon Quilts.  Be sure to check them out!

Greek Cross

 Each quilt-a-long (QAL) that catches my eye makes me want to buy fabric and start sewing - there's so many great projects floating out there.  Usually I bookmark the project so I can come back to it later, but this time I decided I couldn't pass it up.  

My list of projects has diminished somewhat so I have the time to work on this and actually complete it.  It helps that this QAL is only 12 blocks & I'm looking forward to making some different blocks.
Virginia Star

 I originally wanted to do this in all solids as I've been trying to bring in more of those into my quilts. However, once I started pulling from my stash I decided to go with the scrappy look - though I did coordinate colors! I paired it all with Kona cotton in Medium Grey.  

I'm all caught up on the first three blocks and ready to go for the next round this week and ready to go on the next set!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday Snapshot #5

So here I am - about to run my first ever race!  The Community Fund Run 5k to help raise money for the local non-profit organizations.  It wasn't too hot and there was lots of cloud cover, thankfully, but there was lots of humidity - not so good.   Most of the groups benefitting from the Run set up tables about themselves - you can see ours here too! 

I ran most of the race, only walking a bit here & there, and was quite proud of myself for making it through.  I guess it was inevitable that I finally sign-up for one of these races as D&M have run several marathons.  I thought I had a good time considering I didn't really train for this specifically and it was my 1st race.  5k in 35:57 minutes!

Friday, July 15, 2011

I open at the close

I'm still a bit amped up from watching Harry Potter 7: parts 1 & 2. That should quickly wear off, but oh was that awesome!  It's been awhile since I'd seen part 1 so it was nice to watch that again on the big screen.  Also, it helped build some of the anticipation for the final installment - which did not disappoint.

There weren't a whole lots of costumes that I could tell - mostly HP shirts and scarves and similar accessories instead.  My favorite was the family with a 5 yr. old boy dressed as a house elf!

Part 2 picks up just where we left off and is a wild ride from start to finish.  I mentioned I'd been to almost all the movies at the midnight showing and was so glad I could do it one last time to finish it out right.  It's a bit sad to know the movies are finished.  That the years of waiting for the next book, re-reading while waiting for the next movie and the progression of both the characters and the actors, is over for this series.  Watching it on screen makes me want to re-read the books again because that's where the story can be relived over & over.  If you wussed out   ;)    and couldn't go see part 2 tonight/this morning, get out and go once you have the time because it is awesome!

I'd love to hear your thoughts after you see it!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

news notes

With all the wacky weather going on around the country, it's only fair to mention that it is HOT here in west KY.  The last couple days started with a heat advisory and quickly went into the red zone with excessive heat or dangerous heat warnings.  Our highs hovered around 98 degrees and then with the heat index added in we hit 113-115 degrees for several days.  I was glad I worked inside those days and not under direct sunlight because it was not pretty. Just walking from the car to inside was more than enough to set you thinking of pools, ice cream, frozen drinks & cooler temps.  We've had some storms move in and that has at least broken up the high heat temps. a bit so that's a giant plus in my book.

As a follow-up to the last posting, I managed to reach my summer reading goal and stopped by the library to turn in my paper for prizes.  I read 13 books (and 1/2 way through another) and earned 2 points for attending an evening lecture which was interesting.  So I won a notebook, t-shirt & tote bag for my efforts - go team!

Le Tour de France is in it's 2nd week of racing (out of 3) and has earned the nickname tour de crash for this year.  It's been a messy 1st week of crashes and lots of riders have withdrawn from the race due to injuries.  Tomorrow starts the mountain stages in the Pyrenees and it'll be fun to see how that shakes up the standings.  So far it's been a joy to watch the sprint finishes and cheer on American Tyler Farrar & the fastest man Mark Cavendish.  Thanks to Versus 7 NBC for the evening replay/recaps so that us working people can watch the stage & the always exciting finishes each day.  :o)

I'm super excited because tomorrow is Harry Potter day!  I'm going with L & some friends to the double feature here - 9pm #7 part I followed by the midnight showing of #7 part II.  Should be pretty awesome and I was thrilled the ticket for both only cost me $12.  I've been to almost all of the midnight shows for the HP movies so it'll be a nice way to finish 'em out.  Can't wait!

Lastly, some of you may be shocked at this:  Saturday, I'm running (run/walking) my first 5K ever.  Ack!  It's finally happened, after watching dad run races & marathons and then suck mom & J in too I guess it was inevitable that I participate too.  It's for the local Community Fund Run and sponsors non-profit organizations here in town & helps them raise some money too.  Will be a fun event for sure and stay tuned for details about that!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

summer reading

Okay, show of hands - how many of you dear readers participated in the Sneaks summer reading program as a kid?  *raises hand* I'm pretty sure I did for as long as I can remember.  I recall watching the Sneaks video in library class at school (always a highlight), keeping lists of completed books, trekking to the library to collect each prize and diving into more books & far-away plots than I could possibly count.

I even spent a summer as one of the kid volunteers for the program & got to pass out all the prizes & clues to the young readers. Now that you know how much of a dork I's the point of the story!

Imagine my thrill when I discovered that my local library is sponsoring an adult summer reading program titled Novel Destinations!  Sweet! 

apparently this isn't limited to my library - it's out there for adults at other libraries so check it out!

I got an official book tracking list and gleefully started in on a stack of books.  Each book is worth a point, and there are even several prizes to earn along the way. 
        5 books/points  = a notebook
       10 = t-shirt 
       15+ = tote bag 

So far I'm up to 12 books and still have a week to go before the deadline! It's fun to track my progress & feel like a kid again.  :o)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Quilt Camp

best. job. ever. Seriously.  Each year at work, around the end of June we hold Quilt Camp for kids.  Obviously this falls into my job description and I spent several weeks looking for & deciding on projects for the kids, choosing & prepping materials, registering kids, gathering volunteers and working with the sewing machines to gear up for camp.  Then it was time for camp itself where I got to teach kids how to quilt and work on sewing projects for 2 weeks straight.  So fun!  

Here's the breakdown:
 Each session lasts 4 days, meeting each day for 2.5 hours and along with the sewing, it includes a snack and forays into the galleries for inspiration & a stretch break.

Week 1 - mornings - Beginner ages 5-10  - 20 kids
               afternoons - Beginner ages 10-17  - 7 kids
Week 2 - mornings - Intermediate ages 10-17 (learning to rotary cut)  - 9 kids
               afternoons - Advanced ages 13-17  - 5 kids


It was difficult to decide on projects since each level (Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced) works on a different project with different skill sets.  I pre-cut the pieces for the beginner kids, so they just sew 'em all together and pillow-turn to finish their quilts.  This sounds easy, but with 20 kiddos it can get complicated really quickly. They made snowball blocks and sewed 'em all together into scrappy quilts.

For the beginners, I cut a total of: 250 - 8" squares, 1240+ 3" squares, plus backing & batting times 20.

The Intermediates learn or refresh their rotary cutting skills, so they get to cut out their own pieces, sew them together, quilt them and attach binding. This pattern is called 'Pave the Way' designed by Karen Gray and shown in the Spring/Summer 2011 Quilt Sampler Magazine. 

 Our Advanced campers also get to cut, sew, quilt & bind their pieces, but are usually working with more complex designs/patterns/techniques.  This year we paper pieced a star and then set it on point.

It's so great to see what color combos the kids put together, how they choose their fabrics and to watch them create a quilt of their very own.  By the end of the week, it tends to be a race against the clock to get that last border stitched in place, the final turns of the binding completed or the label attached & signed.  In the end, as the parents are trickling in to pick up the happy campers, we're working to get everyone to smile for a group photo before they all head home with quilts in hand and smiles on their faces.

*the photos are my samples of the projects - I should have some of the kids' work coming soon!

I've cut more fabric, wound more bobbins, threaded & re-threaded the machines and switched the feet more times than I can count in the last 2 weeks.  Today was the last day and it was wonderful to see all the finished products from these young quilters.  It was just as wonderful to know I had made it through my 1st quilt camp successfully and had loads of fun doing it!  :D

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Snapshot #4

I had a fantastic time last weekend back in MD as a bridesmaid for Liz & Dan on their special day!  It was great to see friends again and be apart of the celebrations. 

The Mass was beautiful, the weather cooperated and we had a grand time taking photos (in spite of the bugs) and partied it up at the reception!    
Here's to the newlyweds!

I was able to pack in a lot during my stay and amongst all the wedding festivities - bachelorette, nails, rehearsal, hair, wedding, reception - I was able to spend some time with the brother & other friends as well.  So good to see you all - let me know when you're coming to visit KY.    ;) 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Flood 2011

In January of 1937, the Ohio River flooded across several states - including the city of Paducah.  At the time the only barricade was a levee that couldn't hold back the river, which eventually reached 60.6 feet.  Buildings downtown have markers that indicate how high the waters rose as it flooded the streets.  Afterwords, the flood walls were built to protect the downtown from future floods and has done that job well. Although, up until this point; the walls have never been tested with this much water.   <--yikes!

closing up the walls

With all the rain we've had in the last several weeks the river has pushed into the major flood stage and currently several counties are in a state of emergency, bridges are closed, roads are flooded out and people in outlying or low lying areas have evacuated. The annual AQS Quilt Show had to move to several other venues in town once they closed up the flood walls last Monday- the Convention Center is on the river side.   *oops*
Interestingly, the walls don't get closed very often; some co-workers say maybe it's happened once in the 10 years or so they've been here. The predicted crest is for 55.8 feet by Thursday and the forecast has little sunshines in it for the next several days - hooray!  Right now, we are at 54.7 feet and so far it seems flood 2011 will be the new 2nd place holder for highest crests.

Yesterday the Corps of Engineers blasted out some areas of the earthen levee out at Birds Point (South-east Missouri) to divert the water into the floodway fields/farm land.  The initial blasts shook my apartment enough that I had to turn the news on to figure out what it was.  This should help keep the river from getting up to 58/59 feet and will help keep it out of towns on the Mississippi & Ohio rivers.  Several businesses on the way into work are on lower ground at the edges of the walls and have water in the parking lots, car dealers moved their stock to higher ground and lots of dirt has been trucked in to build some berms to help stop the water from spreading.  

We took precautions at the museum and moved all the quilts in storage off-site to our backup higher ground location.  Putting boxes into plastic bags & loading them on & off some vans/panel trucks.  Boxing up quilts that need to go into storage and placing them on the higher shelves in the vault; reviewing how to take down quilts in the gallery in case we need to grab & go made for an interesting week so far.
all closed off - apparently the seepage is normal

I'll leave you dear reader, with the link for the city flood wall cameras that give a good view of the water at the walls which has been fun to watch over the last few days!  Flood wall camera views.  Usually there's a road there so you can drive alongside the walls and view the river - pictures from earlier posts about the rising river were taken in that area!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

calm before the quilt storm

Such a nice weekend here - time to relax and play before the big rush of Easter and Quilt Week.  Weather was a bit on the cool side & breezy, but it helped keep the frantic rush at bay. 

Today kicks off Holy Week and it was the first time I've been to a Palm Sunday Mass where the congregation did not participate in the Gospel reading.  Usually, we have several lines to speak, representing the crowd and I felt a bit left out that we weren't involved this year.  They had the rest of the parts covered so it threw me off a bit, and I didn't think it was as powerful to just hear it.  It always seemed so personal to say the words of the Jews willing to crucify Christ.  We had a nice procession into Mass with the palm branches, which was neat, but on the way out, someone took my palm branch!  I snagged another one afterwords, though I didn't have the skill to weave it into a cross.  Growing up J was better at that than me.
I managed to spend some time organizing the sewing room and even got rid of another lingering moving box.  Score!  I finished up the binding on quilt project #1 while watching hockey and got project #2 ready to baste.  It's nice to work at a place with classrooms and large tables so I can bring in my quilts, lay them out & baste 'em where there's plenty of space. 

Have I mentioned that it's nice to have cable again?  Especially for it to be just in time to watch the Stanley Cup playoffs.  :D Both the Red Wings & Capitals are in and doing well so far and they games are fun to watch.  The Caps need to avoid the penalty calls though; today's game 3 was full of them.  I also cheer for the Blackhawks (thanks dad) when they aren't playing my other teams, and they could use some help right now.  They've played well, but are down 3-0 to the Canucks (gotta love the name) so it's getting dicey.  It's hard to do anything else when the game is on unless it can be done in view of the tv or during the intermissions - a small price to pay for good hockey!

I've re-hung my hummingbird feeder and have seen 1 zip by so far.  We thwarted the pigeons from nesting on my porch, though they did nest in the downstairs neighbors' porch.  I hope that won't keep the hummers away too much.  Took a walk today and heard a woodpecker, lots of songbirds hidden in the trees, saw the the geese in full force around the pond, startled a bunny and enjoyed the sound of the wind through the trees.  Stepped out briefly after dark and the moon had a smooth orange glow behind a light cloud cover. 

I am working my way through my to-see movie list as well with the most recent being Invictus.  Such a good movie!  I like Matt Damon & he did an excellent job in this role. I like how he commits to the story and the character and really gets into it because it shows up on screen and really draws you in.  Seeing the rugby reminded me of summer camp and the international staffers with their rugby Thursdays.  Good times.

A good weekend to recharge and relax before it gets super chaotic as we gear up for Quilt Show at work.  I've helped J rearrange and hang quilts (more like play musical quilts in the gallery) and set-up the School Block Challenge winner display in the lobby.  There's plenty more to handle this week before all the quilters arrive and I look forward to seeing the show in action.

-- it's a beautiful night -- bee signing off --

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday Snapshot #3

display case @ library

right side

Quilts start popping up everywhere since it's
officially quilt month here in Paducah.  Store fronts, magazines, people talking on the street - you can't escape it.  The library has mini quilts hanging up and they let us fill on of the lobby display cases with 'stuff' from the Museum to help celebrate. 

left side

I printed some pictures, an exhibit label, grabbed some fabric - loose, looking like it doesn't care - and borrowed some items from the Junior Quilters to fill the case.  

It turned out really well; don't you think?

Saturday, April 9, 2011


So I got all excited about my birthday and having M&D come down to party that I didn't even post about it.  Oops.  :o)  We just had so much fun that I didn't think about it until waay later. 

I love birthdays and usually spend the preceding weeks in a state on anticipatory excitement.  I was glad to not have to spend this birthday on my own since I am now far, far away from friends.  M&D came down to help party it up in style and we packed a lot into just a few days.  
There's an Argentinean restaurant here (who woulda guessed?) and we went to try the rodizio fun.  They had 6 different types of meat that they bring around to your table and you can choose to take it or not.  We tried all types and wowza! they were good.  I can't imagine going to a larger restaurant where they have 10+ types of meat...

bday pie
We also went to Panera and I got Dad hooked on chocolate pastries....yummm.  I've been rationing out the birthday chocolate pie we had over the last week to extend the chocolatey goodness.

Dad summed it up quite well so here's a brief overview of all the B!day fun:

Hugged.  Un-packed.  Got taxes done.  Psych!  Went shopping.  Made French press coffee.  Fixed blinds (had spare parts).  Changed light bulb (how many dads did it take?).  Evicted the birds.  Hugged.  Got cable modem, wireless router & scheduled Comcast installation.  Set up shredder.  Mass.  Argentinean rodizio B!-day dinner. Hugged.  Saw Despicable Me.  Had double chocolate pie for celebration.  Went to a wine tasting.  Slept.  Twice.  Chocolate pastries rock.  Reheated coffee.  Hugged.  Set up quilt light.  Walked to the river.  Lots of quilt-y talk.  Hancock’s.  Took out garbage.  Packed up.

 All in all another wonderful birthday complete with fun adventures, family & friend phone calls and cards and a natural high for several weeks in anticipation.  
Here's to the next year - may it be full of adventure and good things!

Weekly Tidbits

Last weekend I got my cable installed so now I once again have TV channels.  It was kind of strange after the last 6 months to turn the TV on and have actual shows pop-up.  First thing I managed to catch the last half hour or so of the Tour of Flanders, and then spent some time figuring out which channels went with which station.  Sadly, I've discovered that Jeopardy! is on at 4:30 here so I can't watch it- I ask the TV stations, why would you do that?! 

Monday, we had some severe wind alerts and then a tornado warning in the morning.  The warning sirens went off and we followed protocol by herding everyone into one of our interior classrooms.  There was a meeting going on so that made it pretty interesting, but the kept going with their agenda and we waited out the sirens.  It sounded like the tornado touched down about 30 miles from us, so we're glad we followed our emergency plans <- it even made it into the newspaper that we did what we were supposed to. Go team. The rest of the week has been very spring-like and has even reached upwards of 85 today, gorgeous.

I spent some time working on one of my 'secret' quilt projects as well and am thrilled about how it's coming along.  I made my first bias binding using several blog instructions to help me figure out how to make it continuous.  It turned out perfectly and from a little over a 1/2 yard of fabric I got 8 yards of binding!  I also picked up some thread so I can continue to work on the next project.

I had Junior Quilters (our young kids (10-17) quilt group) too, which is always fun for a Tuesday afternoon.  There are several different projects going on as some kids are finishing up their quilts from last year, some are finishing up their journal covers & a few have completed their journal covers.  It's hard to keep track of what's going on each month! This month, we put everything else on hold and worked on the Just One Star project from Moda fabrics.
Photobucket<---I first spotted here it on the blog I follow & was intrigued with what Moda was doing for Quilts of Valor.

one star from KY

I knew I wanted to make a star block to contribute because my grandfather was a Marine and it is a great way to help others. Once I made my block, I hunted up the appropriate colors at work to use with our Junior Quilters and we got another 5-7 stars made.  It was a perfect way to do a small group project that benefits others, gets the kids involved in a larger project and give something back to Moda who sponsors our School Block Challenge each year. A win-win!  If you're looking for a quick sewing project in the next couple of weeks - this is it!  Head over to Moda's blog & get stitching on Just One Star!

Monday, March 21, 2011

quilty quilty quilt

Dear readers I'm a bit remiss in my posting, as I've noticed a severe lack of quilt related posting (new job not included). This will more than make up for it, I'm sure.
amazingly easy pinwheels!

I found a great tutorial online by the Missouri Quilt Star Co. - on easy pinwheels - and was just amazed at the method.  Of course, I had to try it for myself and wow! what an easy way to make pinwheels en masse.  Once I tested it, I had to turn it into something and what better than a mug rug.  Mom got me semi-hooked on these and I spot them all over the blog-o-sphere.  These are also a great way to practice my binding techniques – an added bonus.  


I've been working on a couple classified projects as well so here are just some teaser shots - more to come. I've got to piece the backing to one & possibly get some batting for the other - we'll see how I can stretch what I have to cover both.  Although, speaking of batting, there's some super soft stuff from Moda that I'm wanting to try out. 

I'm super excited about them both and can't wait to get them into the machine!  I'll probably take them to work with me soon, so I can lay 'em out and pin baste 'em on the larger tables.  Yay.

Lastly, I'm completely enamored with the Gypsy Bandana fabric line by Pillow & Maxfield.  Every time I'm at Hancock's I walk down the aisle and drool *not literally!* over these awesome pieces.  I wish I could take yards of each home with me, but alas, that just isn't feasible.  
Don't you just love these designs?!
However, I do scour the remnant table and have managed to find good pieces of several color ways which totally makes my day!  I'll need to find a good way to use this awesome fabric so i can buy more.  :D 

So that's what's up in the quilt room for now - stay tuned for more project teasers.