Thursday, February 21, 2008

I love Friday!

OK, it's a week late but I still want to report in and show you what I got to spend the day doing last Friday!!! I loooooove Friday's!!! It's my "I don't have to leave the house day!"

After the morning breathing treatments both babies napped at the same time!!! Boy did I ever feel like the super mom! LOL During that time, Nora and I quietly spent some time in the sewing room!!!

This pink block was first on the agenda. :) My friend "ithinksew" from the HGTV quilters message board put out a call for donation blocks to be used to make quilts for 3 sisters who lost their mom to cancer...... and since I had used this pattern the week before for Quiltaholic's children's charity project and liked the pattern I decided to use it again. :)

All the fabric used, was from my FQ Stash - funny how you have to make due with what you have and end up using fabrics that you never thought would go together but in the end they do! :) I am very pleased with how the block turned out... and am very happy to make a contribution to the donation quilts. I even cut out for a 2nd block and may even get a third made before mailing in before the due date... but the 3rd will have to have different fabric as I used up every bit of the "Quilt for a Cure" fabric.

ok, WARNING, I am about to show you my quilting/guest room... which is totally UGLY compared to all the fantastic sewing areas I have seen on the internet...

Next I pulled out my Friendship Star Siggy Blocks from "Brandyquilter" swap she hosted back last fall. The board members are having their 2nd annual Circle of Friends Retreat next month and this year it is in HOUSTON!!! my own back yard basically!!! :c) I was so psyched when I found out last year where the 2008 location was going to be held! I even began prepping David that the babies would be 9 months old by then... and easier to handle... hint hint :)

Well, he more than agreed to make it our long weekend vacation so that I could go to the retreat... while he and the kids explored the zoo and other Houston happenings...but in December we had to make a very important decision concerning the health of the babies... therefore I was not able to send in my money by the deadline... too long to go into here... but let's just say that GOD plan is always best and we later found out that after a special review committee meeting with the insurance company, the twins got approved for their RSV monthly shots!!! That saves us nearly THREE GRAND!!! Yeahhhh!!!

So now without the high costs of the shots... (yeah) can "afford" to go... but the deadline has passed... however there is a waiting list for anyone who drops out between now and retreat... but where David works they are preparing for a union strike in MARCH of all times! and since he is salary, if the workers strike he will have to work mandatory 12 hour shifts 7 days a week... so I wouldn't be available to go to a retreat in March if they are on strike :( Another reason I dislike TX - the standby babysitters, uham, I mean grandparents, are toooo far away in KY! :P

so enough about all that - sorry so long winded...((roll eyes))

To cheer myself up I got out my blocks and put them on my design wall aka GUEST BED :P LOL. It is making me a little bit happier to see my HGTV board friends names on the blocks :)

and does anyone out there have one of these??? I found it on clearance at Joann's last year... for under $2.

Here is an example of how it works! Boy my mother sure could have used one of these when she was living! I don't know how many times we made fun of her for stretching out her arm and holding things out as far as she could so she could read them. Something we kids totally didn't understand - hold it out farther??? what!??? LOL
isn't it cool??? makes it look like I have a mini ironing board by my big one and there is only one in the room.....OK well that isn't true... there is a 2nd behind that chest folded up between the chest and the wall. I have a feeling this might have been my FIRST and LAST time to use it... Nora claimed it as "her looking glass" :P but it was so useful to make sure those gold squares were evenly placed about.

See, I WARNED you that my room was a mess... even when it is neat it still look like a mess. I so wish I had one of these portable design walls like Mary J bought last year... but honestly I don't know where I would stand it up.. and the twins are crawling and pulling up these days so it would be bound to get knocked over. So for now I guess the design wall/guest bed is the safest place. ;)

I don't know how long it will take me as it's been a week since I was in the sewing room... but as soon as I get these sewn together I am gonna order "the perfect" backing fabric for it!!! Look at this Bingo fabric I found on line!!! Perfect, b/c over on the HGTV board I am known as bingo~bonnie :c)

and speaking of bingo... yep, it's that time of year again!!! I am in the middle of hosting the 3rd annual HGTV Fat Quarter Bingo and hot dog, I am LOVIN' it!!!

We currently have over 1800 FQs pledged for this year's jackpot!!! I am so amazed!!!#@! 1st year we had 770, last year I threw in a handful of my own to make it an even 1600 and this year we are over 1800 and still g-r-o-w-i-n-g each and every week! Whoo knows how many we will have come game day on April 1st! ?? amazing hua? and the best part is - is that I get to receive it all here at my home package by package!!! Oh happy day!!! Going to the mail box becomes the highlight of my day and seeing and feeling all of this fabric is sew much fun!! Not to mention how I so enjoy the nerdyness of keeping a spreadsheet and tracking and organizing it all!!! I guess it takes me back to my working days, when I could see the progress I had made at the end of the day... where as now, as a stay@home mom, I feel like I take one step forward and 10 steps back at the end of the day...

The big question pending is, Where to store it all... last year I used the dining room table but this year it's off limits, b/c that is my perpetual laundry folding center and baby stuff catch all... you can bet i am saving all of my diaper boxes for shipping to the winners!

and to wrap this post up... since I'm in a reveal all mode... why not show you a quick pic of me and the twins! :P This was taken in front of Nora's bathroom mirror last Friday (my PJ/no makeup day)

While I am embarrassed at the clutter on the counter top.....I am most impressed that the mirror didn't show any fingerprints or smudges as it usually does! :P I'm guessng Clara (stepmom) windexed it while she was here last month :) b/c I know I didn't and I highly doubt David did either!

Paul Thomas to your left, Olivia on the right.

Well, I will close for now! Hope tomorrow I get to have another Fun Friday at home and will get some time in the sewing room if the kids cooperate!

Love from Texas!! ~bonnie

Friendship Stars!

Ok, it's a week late but I still want to report in and show you what I got to spend the day doing last Friday!!! I loooooove Friday's!!! It's my "I don't have to leave the house day!"

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Closer look at my quilting frame

Someone emailed and asked for a closer look at my quilting frame set up. Here is a photo I took of it. See, nothing fancy. Just plain and simple... I describe it as a saw horse design because that is what the two end pieces remind me of.I don't think he has a lot invested in it... under $100 easily and it would be easy to make for anyone who has a handy husband. My dad used pine b/c it is soft and you want that for tacking the ends to the poles. And this time he made me two sets of poles. One for bed size quilts that I think he said are 90" and another set that are for lap or crib size quilts that measure 60" which are stored in the garage right now.

It isn't hard to put together. We spread everything out on my floor in the den and mom and dad use to use a bed in the basement to put the quilt on the polls. Just remember to roll one side over and the other side over so the quilter doesn't have to have their arm over a hump as they hand quilt. ;)

This is the second frame my daddy has made. The first frame like this before I was born some 30+ years ago for my mother and she used it for years and years. When she died in 1999 there had been the same quilt in the frame for almost 10 years!!! YES 10 years!!! See when she stopped smoking, she also stopped quilting. B/C every time she sat down to quilt she craved a cigarette! Plus the fact that the quilt in the frame was only a pretty bed sheet with a quilt looking design on it - I guess it wasn't really worth it to finish up... no big loss right?

Well, it sat there in the laundry room of the basement for several years after she died... with all sorts of stuff piled up on top of it... takin up the room... and it never dawned on me that I would want it until last summer when Daddy and Clara were planning a trip down to TX... and asked if there was anything I wanted... and I spoke up about momma's quilt frame. Only I spoke up too late! They had cleared it out and given it away... quilt and all. (again, no big loss as far as the quilt goes..) but I wanted that frame. Oh well, it was my fault for not asking for it years earlier.

So I was surprised when Daddy brought it on his recent trip here earlier this month!!! I quickly moved around some things in the den so it would have a home behind the sofa. I had to piece together a backing for my Round Robin Texas Treasures while the day we put it in the frame as I wasn't prepared! Lucky for me I had enough scraps to use!

It's ok that I don't have the exact frame Momma used...I have the next best thing - one just like it! However I only wish Momma had kept a journal of her quilt making and often wonder how many quilts she made over the years?!?! She could have taken a Polaroid of each of them and filled a album easily! She gave every one she ever quilted away except for the 3 Grandmother Fan Quilts for my brothers and I. These were the first 3 momma ever made from start to finish all by herself. Barry's corners were black, Brian's were brown and mine were that fabulous 70's gold! :P
Sadly, that very first one she made for my oldest brother Barry, he doesn't have. His EXwife still to this day has it and she has been married 3 more times since Barry and it is on her bed! I have no clue as to the story there... perhaps Barry never asked for it, I don't know... I was just a junior in High School when they divorced... but I saw it on her bed the last time I was visiting my nephew at her newest husband's home just a few years ago.

Currently there are three quilts quilted by my mother still at my parent's home. One is a apple green and red Christmas quilt that my Momma Newt hand pieced and mom quilted... and b/c of it's bold fabrics, my grandmother refused it back b/c she was sick of looking at it! LOL
In November when we were at Dad's last, I noticed Clara had it spread out over the back of the sofa in the den and using it as part of the Christmas decorations. :) It made me feel good to see it out and being used again!
Another quilt is of a cross stitch pattern. Oh how I remember daddy and I having a time separating all of that floss for her!!! Looking back, I am not sure how much I helped, but at the time I sure thought I was..... I don't think Daddy particularly liked the quilt or the colors, but he claimed it b/c he knew how much work went into it and didn't want her to give it away!
and the third quilt still at my parents that my mother hand quilted is A Trip Around the World that my Momma Newt hand pieced for my father as a Birthday gift to him... so naturally he still has it... but I so hope that one day it gets to come home with me! As it is my most favorite of all quilts Momma Newt ever made. I don't know why it is, but it is. I was about 10-11 when it was made and I remember visiting her and her showing me how many "trips" she had made around the world as she made progress... then I clearly remember the quilt being at our home while in my mother's frame and she stitched 1/4" around each and every block. The backing is all white and is sooo beautiful!!!!

Sorry, no photo of that one. Maybe this summer when I am home I will remember to get it out and take a picture of it.....and maybe, just maybe Daddy will say I can take it home! :P

But, about my quilt frame.....The only thing I would change and may have him work on the next time he visits if it is in the next couple months... is SAND the wood on the bottom of the saw horses! It is rough and I can't imagine how bad it would be for one of the twins to craw up on it and get stuck! Perhaps if I can find a hand stapler I can add some batting and scrap fabric to cover?
Well.....hey, lookie here... with all the kids asleep, I actually got to write a long post and share lots of photos! yeahhh!!! ;c) See... I told you I was gonna try and be a better poster. :)
Love from Texas!!! ~Bonnie

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Another Charity block for Quiltaholic

I really enjoy doing charity blocks for quilters putting together a quilt for a good cause :) Here is the latest one I have made for a friend of mine over on the HGTV quilters message board.

This time Quiltaholic specified a pattern for all of us to use and what colors to place where. I didn't know at first, but after shopping my stash and cutting out the block - I must say I am WOWed at this color combination! I really like it and regretted not double cutting so I'd end up with a block for me! ;)

Well,, last night after sewing I sort of made my wish come true.... :P I was surprised to find that after placing my 12.5" ruler on top of it - IT just didn't measure up! to 12.5" that is... and I was so careful to use a scant seam and still managed to rip and re-rip several seams and some more than once! Finally, I just said, " Come-pluah-iieeee on this, I will start over and this time I will NOT cut triangles!" :P

I can't send this block in with one side being off 1/8" and another side off by 1/4"! So what to do??? Start over! So this time I did things a little differently. I took a closer look at the block and noticed the flying goose finishes at 3x6 so I made them like I prefer (Eleanor Burns method).

And the best part, besides everything matching perfectly and measuring 12.5", is that I made myself a block too! ;) So now I have one to keep that is perfect like the one I mailed to Quiltaholic, and the first one that doesn't quite measure up... I guess I will set them aside to be used several years from now on an orphan quilt that Finn is so famous for ;)

Love from Texas!!!


Monday, February 11, 2008

Which block did I make in the blue charity quilt?

Well I guess I better follow up with my Jan. 11 post and tell you which block won and which was mine. :P sorry to keep you hanging on for a month! didn't mean to!

The block I made is in the top row and 3rd from the left. The block that won the contest was the paper pieced one on the bottom row, first one on the left. ;)

good thing I didnt' bother with all the time to learn how to set up a poll and stuff, since only 2 people left a comment anyway! LOL

I wonder if peopel stop reading before my post is done.... I ramble too much with little too few photos or poor quality photos...? oh well. I have a plan to imporve on that.

I really want to post more often -HONEST! ;) see here is "two" in one day! LOL ~Bonnie

It's been a month??? noooo REALLY!?!?!?

Well, I guess so, below it says my last post was Jan 11th and today is February 11th... gosh where does the time go? Wish I could post tons of projects finished and new ones started, but I haven't really did that much. Being a momma has kept me pretty busy lately.... and sometimes the only thing that keeps me going is dreaming of "one day." LOL

But, I so have one quilty thing that I am very happy to report!!

I now have my very own quilting frame!!! It isn't anything fancy, infact, my Daddy made it before he and Clara came for their visit from KY at the beginning of the month. They celebrated their 2nd wedding anniversary on January 31st and both years have came to visit us during that weekend/week. ;)
I had to move some furniture to make room for it in the den, but we foudn a spot for everything and were able to set it up the day before they left back to KY. I almost forgot to take photos of us getting set up but did remember it and I took a few along with Nora helping to take photos and she did get 1 or 2 good ones and of course 9-10 good ones of the celing fan, window, and fireplace LOL... I guess that is to be expected of a 3 year old!

OK this is a little blurry but it's the best photo Nora took of us! and we are tacking this side down to the pole but then Daddy remembered that we should have tacked it to the underneath side... so we had to redo it.
The quilt is my "Texas Treasures" Round Robin quilt that I made with my friends on the HGTV board. You can read about when I received it back last year here.
and here I am a little while later sitting down to quilt. ;) I have no idea how long it will take me to finish it.... let's just say that right after I pulled my knot thru a baby woke up screaming!
URGH so I although I was so anxious to get started, I had to immediatley put it on hold a while... it just may take me the "rest" of the time we live in Texas to hand quilt it!!!