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Location: Maine, United States

I am a 40 something year old mother of 2. I have always been interested in crafts since my sister and I spent summer weeks with my Grandmother, who was a very crafty lady, while my mother was in college. I mostly quilt since I seem to have an obsession with owning large quantities of fabric, but at one point or another think I have tried almost every craft out there.

Monday, July 31, 2006

mystery solved... almost

Saturday was a really fun day. It was unbearably hot, I had to get up early and my directions were incorrect, but I didn't care. I needed a day to myself so badly.
I really enjoyed Debbie's class and would recommend one to anyone who was interested. She made the rounds the entire time and helped out and chatted at each table. She had some really cool timesaving tips. Here are my friends hard at work.
We did start out the class on a little bit of a low note for some of us. Evidently there had been some problems with the cutting instructions that had been sent out to some of the students. Some had all fractions dropped and some had only the eights dropped. Debbie had worked out re-cutting everything for the people with incorrect instructions, but their quilts would be smaller. Out of the group of us, naturally, I was the only on with the wrong directions. Mine had the eights dropped which meant where I had cut an 8 inch square I was supposed to have cut an 8 7/8th inch square. I had enough of the purple left to re-cut, but with the green I didn't want to cut in the first place I was 2 squares short. I decided that I would rather go buy more than make my quilt smaller. I am looking on the bright side. I found some online and now I need to buy at least another 1/4 yard and who wants to pay all that shipping on such a small purchase so of course I am going to have to buy more to make it worth my while to order. I'm going to end up with enough for that other quilt as well. :c) I didn't let it ruin my day at all.
Here is Debbie's version she revealed when everyone was up to the next to the last step. She then took out all the quilts she had brought with with her to give us a trunk show. She said that since we had such a problem with instructions we deserved to see the whole show. She showed us some quilts from each of her books and pointed out different little design features that add a whole lot to the final quilt. She told us that we were free to take and post pictures of the revealed mystery as long as we didn't give the name it wouldn't ruin it for anyone else since she has done 125 mysteries and without the name no one would know if this was the one they were going to do or not. She didn't give permission for the other quilts so I didn't take any.
Here is my color way that will be finished when I get the rest of the green. Being short 2 squares equated to being unable to finish 2 of the full blocks shown. I'm not going to stress about it. I really like it anyway.
Another good thing happened. I won one of the door prizes! I never win anything. I was drawn second which meant the first person got to choose which of the 2 prizes she wanted. The options were one of Debbie's books Scraps to You Too and this selection of fabric. I already have the book so when the first person chose it, even though these fabrics aren't exactly what I would buy I was thrilled. I think I can come up with something nice from this selection. All in all we had a great day and all love the quilts we ended up with.

a beautiful day in the neighborhood

It was a beautiful day today. The humidity finally broke and we didn't have a new crisis to deal with. We went shopping and I think we have pretty much everything DS needs to head off college in a couple of weeks. :c)
Last week seemed to be a week filled with problems. We started out Monday with that really low offer on the house. Tuesday was fine. Then Wednesday, after having to leave work 2 hours early to deal with a problem with our auto insurance, when I got home DS informed me that something was weird with the pool. I went out into the back yard and the water level had dropped about 8 inches, 2 inches below the skimmer. The pump had been sucking air so he had shut it off. I had visions of big expenses and a backhoe digging up my back yard to fix a burst pipe while we are trying to sell. Not very conducive to high offers. I didn't get any sleep worrying about what was going to happen. I spent a good part of the next day working with the pool place in town trying to diagnose where the water was leaking from. Finally, by Friday morning it was decided that it was either a hole in the liner or the main drain that had been blocked off years ago so with no digging necessary they would send a diver over to go down and check it out. He couldn't come that day because we had a HUGE thunderstorm with heavy downpour which caused our next crisis. DS had taken DH's car to work that day and left the windows down. Now this wasn't just some rain, this was like 3 inches within half an hour. It was standing on our lawn because it was coming down so fast the ground couldn't absorb at that rate. Needless to say, the seats were saturated and there was standing water on the floor of the car after DS had already spent about half an hour with the shop vac trying to get it out. The humidity level was also so high I didn't know how it was ever going to dry. I took over vacuuming and then blotted with a chamois to remove as much as possible. We set up a fan in the garage to blow through with all the doors open. It took overnight and all day Saturday before it was dry to the touch. With today's beautiful weather DH put it out in the driveway with all the windows down and I think we can safely pronounce it totally dry without permanent damage. The diver ended up coming yesterday and patched a slit in the liner. The pool is now refilled and we just have to play with the chemicals to get it back to sparkling.
We did have some action on the house this week. A low, but not offensively low, offer came in during all our pool fun on Wednesday evening. The only "NO WAY" with it was that she wanted MY SEWING CABINET. I guess I'm the only person who would never consider asking for someone else's furniture. We countered with "You're not getting my sewing cabinet. What the heck would I do with all my fabric?" and that offer is still pending. Then during all our car problems on Friday our realtor called to set up a showing for Saturday. It was a very busy evening between getting ready for my mystery class, saving the car and cleaning up for the showing. It was very late before I got to bed. Luckily, I was so excited for my class that the adrenalin carried me through. The showing, I guess, went well. DH said that that evening the buyers rode by 5 times and stopped in front of the house talking and pointing. Sounds promising. We are keeping our fingers crossed for another offer hopefully tomorrow.
I took pictures during my class, but haven't downloaded them yet. I will devote another whole post to that. Stay tuned...... ;c)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

baby steps

I'm beginning to get a complex. We have had 2 offers on our house. Both of them so low they weren't worth considering. I know we are on a downswing in the market, but one was not even the amount we bought it for 8 years ago plus improvements. I'm probably taking it to personally, but one couple said they were offering less because they wanted to tear out a wall between the dining room and living room and open it up. Why do they think it is fair for us to take less profit to pay for their remodeling? It is the way it was designed over 100 years ago and if they want it different it should be on their dime. Also, being a lover of old houses them wanting to change that sort of offends me anyway. I guess I would never make a good business person because I take things too personally. I feel like they are trying to take from me. Probably not the right attitude, but I would be embarrassed to offer someone one third less than their asking price. If I didn't have at least close to their price I would consider it out of my range and look for something else. Probably why I'm not rich. :>/

We did get some moving done over the weekend. Got a bed set up and made so if we want to start spending nights there to work there we can. My husband filled his truck and took another load last night after work. It is getting done slowly, but surely. The only problem is going to be leaving this one empty for showings, but we want to get moved before DS heads off to college on Aug 16.

Now for the fun stuff. Taking out my quilt top for pictures in the last post must have been good karma. My friend told me on Tuesday, 1 day after my post, that she could fit it in. Woo hoo. I can't wait to get it back and see what she has done.
I also have also been working to get some sewing done so I can move my sewing room. It's going to be a major undertaking to take apart my sewing cabinet and pack all that fabric. Oops.... I should have been working harder lately to use up, but I'm not sure it's in my personality. I did, however, get this quilt that I had in pieces put together. If you have been reading my blog this is the one I started in January as a leaders and enders project. Then it sat for a while until I found the background I wanted. Then sat again in pieces for the last few months while I have been concentrating on Round Robins. I got it out on Sunday and decided I was going to get it put together. Only borders left. The pattern calls for using the waste triangles from the double half square triangle blocks for the third border. I have all of those, but they need squaring up. Still a lot of work left to do, but I will probably wait until after the move.

Monday, July 17, 2006

it's a mystery

I have been a fan of Debbie Caffrey since I bought the Open a Can of Worms book a few years ago. This year at the Maine Quilt show the weekend after next Debbie Caffrey is going to be a guest teacher. I was so excited I got a few friends together and we signed up for the Saturday class. We are making a mystery quilt. We got a list of fabrics needed and some instructions to start cutting. I like this selection of fabrics, but haven't gotten anything cut yet. We are supposed to have 5 fabrics from dark to light with high contrast. Mine aren't really high contrast, but I think that with the totally different colors I will be fine. I love this selection, but I had to really fight with myself to use them. The Red Rooster one in the middle is the only yard I have and I had it with another selection that I was going to make something out of. Back to the weird things about me... I am having a really hard time using all of it because then it will be gone. :-0
This is a mystery quilt that I designed from an block that I saw in the Nickle Quilts book and one of the M'liss Rae Hawley fat quarter books. I taught it in a class last year. It is in my UFO pile waiting for my longarm quilter to have time for it. She is a friend of mine and is backed up right now. I told her I was in no particular hurry so when she had time in her schedule to let me know and I would bring it over. We trade services. I keep her computers up and running and she does my longarm quilting. (o:
Our quilt meeting is tomorrow night. I decided not to add the embroidered spider to my Round 3. I can't wait to see what I have to work with for the next month. This round is 4. We were being funny when we decided on what to do for borders. We thought 4 would be fun. 4 anything: 4 inches, 4 squares, 4 stripes, 4 flowers. 4 cats. You get the idea.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

round three

I learned my lesson last time and did my round early this month. I have been trying very hard with each of my turns to do something so that the resulting quilt doesn't look like a center block with a layering of borders. I know that is sort of how a round robin works, but I have been trying to be creative so that it doesn't have that feel in the end. Since I had free reign this month I decided to set the block on point to break up the borders. I really liked the rounds that have been added to this one. It is all batiks and has such an elegant feel. I am hoping that mine adds to the overall personality of the finished quilt.
I have been contemplating making a small addition to my contribution. I am just not sure it would be in keeping what is going on. I think I am feeling guilty because this really didn't take me long and wasn't as much work as I put into the others. I was thinking of embroidering a small spider web with spider in metallic silver thread in the corner between the Seminole border and the pink strip in my corner. I still have a week and a couple days so I would have plenty of time. What do you think? It's really not a crazy quilt, but I was thinking it might be cute.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

happy 4th

We spent a lot of time on the road this weekend so I didn't get a chance to do any sewing at my machine. I hate riding in the car because it feels like such a waste of time. I have been working on this take along project for a while. These are wool applique squares that are going to be appliqued onto a large piece of black wool. It's going to be a rug to go under the table it is on when we move to the new house. I got 5 stars done over the weekend with all our riding around. I haven't decided exactly how big I want to make it yet, but realized I am getting pretty close to having enough squares. I don't want it too big because I don't want it sticking out from under the table too much to get walked on. :o) After all the work I put into it I don't want it wear out too quickly.
This has been a very difficult week for our family. While I was in WI, my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She was operated on and is recovering from the surgery and will be starting chemotherapy shortly. My parents live on the coast and always have a 4th of July cookout. This year my mom still wanted to have it, but obviously couldn't do much to make it happen so we all brought what was needed and still had a nice time. Not as boisterous as usual, but it was nice to be with family and celebrate. Hopefully, soon we will be celebrating my mother beating her cancer.