Sunday, November 29, 2009

lessons learned from cleaning out the pantry

We have been on a cleaning binge the past 4 days or so. We had a mini remodel in 2 bathrooms and so while everything was a mess we decided to take it a step further. We have a closet across the end of our den that is 6'X24'. It is really big so it can hold a lot of junk! It had gotten so bad that we couldn't get in it any longer so what else could we do. Even we were appalled at the amount of stuff that came out of there. We divided it into the appropriate groups and now we even have empty shelves.

Next it was on to the kitchen. I cleaned out the pantries, all of the cabinets and drawers and I got a lot of junk out of there too. There were packs of Jell-O that were 3 years past their expiration date and all sorts of partly used packs of seasonings and a bunch of opened crackers, cereals and pasta. There was a particularly interesting bottle of old rice. It was some sort of special red rice that I thought deserved to be poured down the disposal. It all went down with no problem. Next it was on to the coffee cabinet which had at least 6 partially used bags of assorted coffees One was a very old can of Folgers decaf which I thought needed to be poured down the disposal so that I could put old knives in it. Half way through the decaf things stopped working. Tony was working on hanging mirrors in the bathrooms and I really hated to tell him that the sink was stopped up. He was perturbed when I told him about the coffee. (You might guess that this is not the first time I put something that I shouldn't have in the disposal.) But then I had to fess up to the red rice. You know what happens to rice when it gets wet? Well, it expands. The rice had swollen and totally blocked both sides of the sink. He had to use a knife like an ice pick to get it out. As soon as he got the rice out of all of the nooks and crannies the coffee water started pouring out. It was totally gross. Of course, I got photos.
The bin was about 3"-4" deep in rice, water and coffee.
The moral of the story is, don't put uncooked rice down the disposal.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Judy Niemeyer Patterns and Getting Ready for Market

Judy Niemeyer's new patterns, Bali Wedding Star and Stepping Stones are in. They are so pretty and use the 2 1/2" strip kits which Judy chose for us when she was here in June. She is definitely amazing and just does it so quickly. Bali Wedding Star is in and we also have the extra papers.

Below is a photo of our Scraparama strip kits that work beautifully with both the Bali Wedding Star and Stepping stones. (see photo below)

Stepping Stone is striking and also pretty simple to make, at least for a Judy Niemeyer pattern! We have this pattern in and also the extra papers to make the quilt larger.

We didn't go to Spring Quilt Market in Pittsburgh this year so we are a little ahead of the game with our patterns for fall...Not sure if that is the way to look at it but we are goin' with it!
One of my favorite new patterns was designed by our friend, Marianne Harwood, who loves floral quilts. It is called Blooming Vases. The scrappy black and blue backgrounds are very neat and the quarter square sashing in blues is pretty. What do you think?

Another really fun quilt is the Halloween quilt, which is neither finished nor named. We are changing the center block and making the witch a larger. It is bright and fun. The owl is very cool.

This photo is a work in progress. Betsy came up with this pattern to put her birthday swap blocks together last year and we all love it! So, of course we had to make it into a pattern! It is not quite ready yet but is in the "testing" phase.
Sassafras is a new very scrappy pieced pattern. There are four blocks, all with the same pieces but arranged differently.

Hope you are enjoying some cool fall weather. Here in TX it should be a pleasant temperature in a month or two.
Come see us at Quilt Country and check out our new models. We have added lots of new ones and re organized.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Indenpendence Day, Buck-A-Block and Strips

We will be closed on Saturday, July 4th in observance of Independence Day. The Buck-A-Block packets may be picked up on Saturday, July 11. See you then!
We have had a a wild time last week at Quilt Country. Judy Niemeyer was here for a week and the classes were wonderful. I still think she is the best teacher I have ever seen in action. The students really enjoyed the class and many of them got quite a bit done. Judy bought several of her new patterns and quilts of her newer patterns that will not be released until August or September. The are beautiful. One of the patterns is the new Bali Wedding Star. This new pattern is really pretty with floating points on the stars. We are anxious for the new pattern to arrive. While Judy was here she hand picked sets of batiks for the arcs of the wedding ring. Of course, you can make anything with these beautiful batiks. Each set has eighty-eight 2 1/2" strips that are in eleven different color ways. They are so beautiful! The photo below is a photo of a set lined up before cutting and then arranged after cutting. We have a few left. They are just so beautiful that they are being gobbled up for lots of other projects. They are $79.95 for the set of strips.

Below are two photos taken during Judy's classes. If you are ever in a position to take a class from Judy it is a great opportunity. She has so many tips involving paper piecing and her beautiful quilts.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Joshua went to swimming lessons today, his 3rd day. I think he is doing great.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Batiks Galore and More

Quilt Country has been getting in a lot of fabric over the last few weeks. There are several pretty bright and cheery florals, the beginnings of our Christmas fabrics and 167 bolts of batiks 11 boxes, from Island Textiles. There were so many boxes the UPS truck backed up to our door! Below are photos of Joan unpacking and checking in the boxes.

Bobbie has been busy working on the displays for the Christmas area and the Christmas fabrics are beginning to arrive. We have ordered some pretty and also some fun Christmas fabrics this year. Our good friend, Sara Tuttle, has a new Christmas line with MODA. It is called Beach Birdies and they are in Santa hats. Really fun!!!
The supergirls have also been busy rearranging the shop and moving groups of fabric to better utilize the space. I think it looks great!!!
One of the things they have been making room for is an expanded line of Artgirlz items. We have new charms, kits and rubber stamps. Lots of cool stuff!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

knitted tube socks, YUCK!

I knitted my first sock! I decided on a tube sock because it seemed simple and I am usually OK with tube socks. Well, the self striping yarn doesn't look nice at all in a tube sock. Below are some photos, needles still attached. I like the yarn but not the sock. I will be taking it out and knitting a reg. sock.

Monday, May 25, 2009

We had a fun Memorial Day. I met Jesse and Krissy at the gym for water aerobics which was fun. They hadn't been before and I was glad the came to see what we do. I think Krissy might start going at night. Then I brought Joshua home from the gym with me and he and Tony played in the pool and with the new water cannons. Of course, Tony had to "surprise" him by ambushing him when he walked out of the door in his suit. They had fun and then it was ribs on the grill and potato salad, etc. We celebrated Kelli's birthday with the light strawberry trifle. Yum!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Cooper and Porsche

Cooper is our new puppy. We have had him for one week and it has been very interesting. He is the first boy puppy we have ever had. There are a lot of things that are different when you have a boy instead of a girl.

Porsche really loves him and they play, fight and share the toys. He is a real cutie a while Porsche is sort of equally black and white Cooper is mostly black. He seems smart and eats like a pig. Really, I don't think he even tastes his food and when he finishes he runs over to Porsche's dish. We have to pick him up when he finishes so she can eat.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Crazy for quilting

Crazy quilting has always been one of my favorite types of quilting. Being a slightly obsessive personality I would get into one type of quilting and concentrate on that. There was the Amish phase, the crazy quilting phase the "Lucky" phase...
We have a small display in the shop of some of the crazy quilting items I have done in the past. I loved the hand work at the time but was really bad at the machine finishing. One of the first items I crazy quilted was the heart below. We had just moved to TX and of course I had to make the French knot bluebonnets. Something went wrong when I tried to make it into the heart pin. As you can see the edges are not even at all.

Did you all have the quilted collars to wear over your "granny" dresses? I loved those and wore this one a lot.
This is one for Valentines day.
Many of us at Quilt Country are interested in crazy quilting and have decided to start a crazy quilt friendship group will be meeting on the second Friday of the month. This is not a class but there will be a variety of crazy quilters with a many styles of crazy quilting and we can learn from each other. I plan to use lots of beads on mine. We have the new Alice Wilhoit crazy quilting book and it is really pretty. She uses batiks for her fabrics. I do love batiks... We also have several books using beading instead of stitching. Beads are always fun! I think there is a renewed interest in hand work whether it is applique, embroidery or crazy quilting. The only decision left is to decide on colors and fabric style for my block.

Friday, April 17, 2009

To the dump. To the dump. To the dump, dump, dump!

After many, many years of putting off the inevitable we cleaned out the storage room on Mill St yesterday. It was totally amazing, sort of like a clown car type of experience.

I wish I had thought to take a photo showing what it looked before. Suffice it to say that it was to the point of opening the door, throwing something in and shutting the door quickly. There were 6 of us and it took us 2 hours. Not bad.
First we took everything out. Oh my! I think the space is about 12' X 20'.
So after filling Joan's truck to the brim for the dump, Debbie's van for Goodwill, Sharon's van for the shop, Micki's cute little convertible trunk with quilts and my car for my house, we are done!! Doesn't it look great??? The boxes in the center are documents to be shredded.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

In just a few short hours...

SO much can happen. Yesterday I realized the if Joshua and I were going to dye Easter eggs it would have to be that afternoon. When I picked Joshua up at school I told him we were going to dye eggs and also plant our 2 tomato plants, 1 cherry and 1 Celebrity. He was very excited.
We got all of the egg dying paraphernalia together and he decided to color them before he dyed the eggs. So he was busy coloring while I was getting things set up. He did a great job, as you can see. If you look at his hands you can see the progression of dye migrating.

Cool! Look what happens when you "accidentally" drop the egg in.

Who needs to use the spoon when I have opposable thumbs???

I don't think this dye is permanent...

Next we moved outside to plant our two tomato plants. Porsche was very interested, as you can see.

As you can see Joshua did a great job!

Now this is when all of the trouble started. Joshua and I got the hose and I turned it on very low. He watered the plants and did a fine job. I held the hose while Joshua went to turn it off. It seems that Joshua didn't know which way to turn the hose and turned it the wrong way! The water was pouring out and Porsche freaked out. She was running around trying to catch the water and getting more and more wet. We got the water off and then tried to catch Porsche. She was running everywhere getting all of those VERY irritating little oak tree pollen thingys all stuck in her hair AND then she went over and rolled and rolled in the mulch. Next it was back in the house to try to get the trash out of Porsche's hair and it was quite a pain. It took about 15 minutes. Joshua was really excited and was squealing the whole time and begging to get in the tub with her. We got all clean and I blow dried Porsche then we sat down calmly and watched the end of Chicken Little. Whew!

When Jesse came to pick Joshua up I decided to try the hat I knitted on Joshua. It looked pretty cute and was my first attempt at knitting on the double needles. The mittens? Well these were one pair of 4 1/2 pairs we found in the den!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Celebration of Life

Today was Joshua's birthday party at school. Instead of calling it a birthday party it is called a Celebration of Life. All of the children in the class, except for the birthday boy/girl. sit in a big circle. Joshua sat in a chair outside of the circle. The teacher put a tray in the center of the circle and on the tray was a large white candle with several smaller candles and a dish of sand. Around this she places pieces of paper with the months of the year on them in order. Then she asks Joshua questions about the earth and sun and how many days it takes the earth to go around the sun etc. Then she lights the center candle. Next she asks about being one year old and what you remember and/or did. He has to go to the circle of candles and walk slowly around them while the children all say the months of the year in order.

Then she lights one of the smaller candles. It continues like this until all of the candles are lit and then they sing Happy Birthday.

Then he puts all of the candles out.

It was really neat and he was embarrassed by the attention and kept trying to hide behind me. Once he even fell on the floor on his head. His teachers are so great and seem to take everything in stride.

Next he got to pick something from the "treasure chest" because he had gotten the certain number of stickers it takes to get something from the treasure chest. Apparently it is a big deal!
Next it was home to Granny and Granddaddy's house for a hug from Porsche and our little birthday party.

We got him a cream filled choc covered donut and had 5 candles on it.

Then he opened presents.
Grandaddy is so funny...

Grandaddy helped put the bionicles together. They are new easier with only about 12-14 pieces each.

Sunday is his big party. I am really glad we had the quiet party.