Friday, August 24, 2012

Really Random Thursday: From my iPad

What a crazy busy week! So glad Cindy keeps her Really Random Thursday linky party open late for times like these! I'm posting from my iPad again, so keep your fingers crossed that my photos appear and this post doesn't get eaten like last time.

My youngest started school last week. Next year she will be in high school!

Her first day of kindergarten wasn't that long ago. My middlest has been home for a short break before his second year of college. My oldest is planning a trip home soon during his school break so our family has been juggling three different school schedules.

I've been sending and receiving fun snail mail which is a nice change of pace from electronic correspondence. My rubber stamps were dusted off and put to use embellishing envelopes. This cool postage stamp of sewing machines was affixed to a sweet note from my friend Anne.

With the kids back in a school routine I started back on another attempt at my diet and exercise routine. This lasted all of two days. It only took one stressful phone call and this (see photo below) was my dinner. Of course I could use the excuse that I was in a hurry to catch a flight and had to grab a fast bite to eat in the airport before my plane took off without me but we all know there are better choices available.

Each time I fly I say I am going to make a small quilt to take on the plane with me next time. I am always cold and have a sweater or jacket but think how comfy a smallish quilt would be. Then I promptly forget when I am home. This trip I knew I would need my security blanket so I brought my rather large Peace, Love and Happiness quilt. I'm sure several people thought I was strange, but the quilt served its purpose by providing comfort and warmth, so now I am definitely determined to make a smallish quilt for air travel.

While driving on a Washington freeway I was surprised to see a semi-truck advertising the beautiful state of Montana. There was congestion when I took this photo so technically I was not driving while using my cell phone. That's against the law in Washington as it should be everywhere.

Since little Leo could not make the trip to see me, I took a trip to see him. I'm getting really good at the one handed cell phone photo shot. The first picture is of me holding him after not seeing him for over a month. Not the way I imagined. The next photo is a happier one of him smiling up at the doctor. He sure is a trooper!

My friend Anne is a big Charley Harper fan, so this baby book caught my eye. When I saw the ABCs by Charley Harper baby book was full of colorful animal prints, I knew Leo would love it.

My final thought for the day is stamped on my coffee mug: Be Happy!

So how random was your Thursday?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mini Quilts

Two mini quilt tops for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative have been quilted, bound and labeled!

Priority:  Alzheimer's Quilt
August's quilt Tunnel Vision has already been assigned a number (11,547) and is on its way to AAQI headquarters. 

#11,547 Tunnel Vision
When basting these quilts, I took a tip from Juanita Yeager and added a layer of good quality felt in between the batting and backing.  I learned this from a workshop she presented for the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild on machine quilting.  I usually forget to do this when I am making small quilts, but it really does add a measure of stability and thickness which is nice for an art quilt.  

Before binding
This "X" quilt doesn't have a name yet which is required before registering.  X Marks the Spot seems a little obvious.  Any other suggestions?

Needs a name

 When updating my $1,000 Promise page, I noticed that two of my quilts will be going to Houston.  One of these days, I may join them!

Another quilt in a tree

Any of you going to International Quilt Market/Festival in Houston?  
What about February 2013's Quilt Con in Austin?
Inquiring minds want to know!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Back at it

School is back in session for my youngest, and we are getting back into a routine.  I don't think anyone in my house was ready for school to start, but having a routine can be a beautiful thing.

Nicely organized scraps
While my daughter was off learning middle school stuff, I learned some basic crocheting skills.  I'm talking really basic here.  I even had to take a picture of how to hold the yarn so I could remember later!

How to hold the yarn
My lesson consisted of the slip knot to get started, the chain stitch, single crochet and double crochet.  The stitches were just run through quickly to give me an idea, and I hope I can remember how to do it all when I'm on my own.  Eventually, I'd like to make beautiful baby sweaters join in the Fusion Blanket Crochet Along, but I don't think I am there yet ;-)

Practice stitches
All the 2.5" squares have been cut and sorted for my great granny square blocks.  I even determined the layout of 15 blocks and separated them into baggies for sewing time.

15 blocks and other fabrics scattered across the floor
Most of the fabrics are Kate Spain's Serenade with a few other fabric lines thrown in.  The outer round of blocks are Fandango I received as a Christmas gift.  I like how they play well together.

Fabric choices
I was a good girl and filed away my leftover 2.5" squares in the squares basket when I was done rather than throwing them in the scrap bag.  

Squares Basket
This basket holds cut 2.5" and 5" squares leftover from past projects and in limbo before being assigned to future projects.  The little squares are even in piles by color.  

Soon to be baby quilt
All the chevron blocks have been pieced and are up on the design wall ready to be assembled into a quilt. feels good to be "back at it"!
Happy Monday!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Really Random: Going Home

I'm loving Cindy's Really Random Thursdays so much that I seem to post only on Thursdays now.  Tuesday I showed quilt photos I took in an old oak tree in my home town, and today I get to share some randomness observed on my trip.

Are you ready for some football?
We stopped in Tallahassee on the way "home" to have lunch with my middlest who was in the midst of final exams.  It seems the coaches were also shopping at the college bookstore;-)  The sign outside had a countdown to the first home football game - 23 days for those of you interested.
What's on my iPod 
It was a long road trip, but luckily for me I had some Creative Mojo podcasts to catch up on.  Luckily for my daughter, she had her own iPod and headphones!  The host's voice and his habit of referring to the listeners as cupcakes apparently is an acquired taste ;-)  The episodes on my iPod were great, and I am appreciative to Mark and his guests for keeping me company.  I had to laugh though as he was talking to a guest about the south and said "but I have to tell you, the state of Mississippi scares the @*$% out of me" literally as I crossed the Alabama Mississippi state line!

Colorful Playlists
 My itunes playlist kept me company as well.  Does anyone else title their playlists by KONA colors?  Please tell me I'm not the only one that "hears" colors when listening to music.  Lupine (also a Montana wildflower) for example is my longest playlist and is comprised of upbeat, happy music.  

Bolts of color
 Speaking of KONA, my mom took me to Block Therapy a relatively new LQS which just expanded and carries EVERY single color of KONA!  

Firearms being overtaken by fabric!
 The locals are so lucky to have such a wonderful LQS.  There isn't anything like this where I live.  What makes it even better is they offer beginning quilting classes, and my mom has signed up!

Quilter's Ten Commandments
 My mom also took me to Janet's Quilting Bee which had this great Quilter's Ten Commandments wallquilt.  "Thou shalt visit quilt shops wherever thou shalt go on earth" is one I try to follow.  You can read more about the two quilt shops here and here.

Best shrimp po boy ever!
When I go home, I try and eat home-cooked food and local restaurant food I can't get at home. (Confused by all the homes?)  BB's has awesome po boys, and my dad makes the best shrimp.  

Pasta St. Lawrence
My husband is allergic to shrimp which means I don't make it much at our house, but I make up for that when I go to my parents' home.

Boiled shrimp and fixins
I don't visit my parents as much as I should and becoming a grandparent myself has made me even more aware of that fact.  I live almost 600 miles away from my parents and over 3,100 miles from my grandchild.  Ouch!

Spam email from Crate and Barrel, I think
 Family is everything!  Before I deleted this spam email, I noticed the graphic rug on the ad.  Very appropriate, wouldn't you say?  Not to mention, I love the colors.  Think I'll make a quilt like this.

I NEED to hug this baby!
My little two-month old grand baby recently had to wear this tiny hospital gown.  Thankfully, he is home now and doing well!!!!!  I WILL hold him soon!

So how random is your Thursday?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Quilts in a Tree

Just a quick post to share some quilt photos I took while visiting the parental units (borrowing a phrase from my baby sister here) last week.

Got Pink? in a tree
Since school is about to start, I took my youngest (the only one still living at home full time) to visit her Mississippi grandparents.  We had a good time doing what we always enjoy doing - eating and talking. This time we threw in a few quilt shops and quilt photo expeditions.

Gateway Oak

Michelle asked me to take some pictures of quilts she had made because I am constantly giving her a hard time about not taking pictures and posting her amazing quilts on her blog, and my mom suggested taking pictures by the incredible Gateway Oak alongside the highway in my hometown.  

My birthday wall quilt
 I'll let my sister share the pictures on her blog of the quilts she made (as soon as I email the photos to her!), but in the meantime, here are a few reruns.  I took the birthday quilt my sister made me home to show my family.  It was difficult photographing this one in the huge oak.  

Let's try again
 It was impossible to get a photo of the entire quilt and without a person in the background which was my goal.  I love how the tree bark is reflected in the tiny center strips of the quilt.

I can't wait for Michelle to show you the pictures of her quilt I took displayed on the Gateway Oak.  The oak tree is a perfect backdrop for that particular batik quilt with its greens, tans and browns.

More Got Pink?
I don't feel I ever really took any good pictures of the Got Pink? quilt I made for my mom several years ago so I took that one along on our photo shoot.  

And another one
 The more I see this quilt, the more I like it!  I still don't have a decent enough picture of the quilt, but I sure love this one!  It's super soft and cuddly.  I may have taken a nap or two with it while visiting my Mom.

And another
In addition to the photo shoot here, I took quite a few pictures of other quilts in my Dad's backyard.  I will email those to my sister right now, so she should have them up on her blog right away soon.

Do you take your quilts out on a photo expedition?  
Where is the most unique spot you've encountered for photographing quilts?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Really Random: Scenes from the Mall

My daughter and I enjoyed a fun-filled day together at the mall shopping for a special occasion dress.  You have to know that my daughter HATES to shop.   I usually buy most of her non-school clothes without her, but every once in a while her presence is required.  Well, this excursion was quite an experience, and my daughter's comments and observations had me in stitches.

Department store's cashmere version of the KONA color card
What mother daughter adventure isn't complete without the mother embarrassing the daughter?  On this day, it mostly involved me whipping out my cell phone to take pictures of the randomly cool displays.   I could not pass up the opportunity to take a picture of this mannequin.  Doesn't it look like she is wrapped in a KONA color card?!  

Bloodstained dress
My daughter and I apparently have quite different tastes in clothes.  She needed a nice dress to wear to her best friend's dance recital  Bharatanatyam Arangetram.  She had something uncomplimentary to say about every dress I suggested, but her reasons were hilarious.  I wish I could remember them all.  The cute dress above was described as being "nice, except it looked like it had a bloodstain".  

Had to remind myself that I am 50 now
I can't remember why she didn't like this pretty dress shown above, but I am sure I pulled it out because it is the kind of dress I wish I could still wear.

Right up my alley
This label really caught my eye.  I wanted to buy this shirt just because of the name....until I saw the price tag!

My daughter and I both cracked up at the Barbie calendar because earlier my daughter had said to me, "Mom, I'm not your Barbie you can just dress up however you want!" when we were having difficulty finding her a dress to wear.

Necessary item
I couldn't resist picking up this guide to texting codes.  I ended up giving it to my Dad who just celebrated his birthday, and we got a few kicks out of some of the acronyms.  This one especially: RUOMCITUMAD which means "Are you on medication because I think you missed a dose?!" (Don't have the book in front of me, so this may not be it exactly.)   I was a little shocked that my daughter knew that one.  I sure hope it's because she read it in the book.  I can't see it coming up in conversation with her friends!

Mesmerizing performance
She did eventually find a very nice and appropriate dress to wear to the four hour dance recital, but I promised not to post her picture looking so pretty.

This last picture says it all, doesn't it?!!!