Thursday, August 31, 2006

I'm a gold star winner!


I made it through August without buying any fabric, (the great fabric depression of August 2006) so I've won one of the gold stars that Vicki is handing out. It was easier than I thought -- I just didn't go into any fabric stores and I didn't look at any of the online shops.

In fact, now I'm thinking about making this an every-other-month kinda thing, or a 2-months-out-of-3 thing. Since PIQF is coming up in October, I have to arrange it so that October is an "okay to buy" month!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

my m&m obsession


okay, no quilts in this post; it's time to reveal my m&m thing. possibly obsessive-compulsive, but I swear it's the only time I get this way (except for having to clean the house before going on vacation-- but everyone does that, right?)

Anyway, here goes. I've never told anyone before: I have this thing about the right way to eat m&ms. They have to be eaten in a certain order. First I eat all the brown ones -- just 'cause they're brown.

Then I figure out which color has the fewest and line the rest of them up so there are equal numbers of red, blue, yellow, green and orange. In this package, red had the fewest.

Then whatever's left gets "bundled" in little groups of 4, 3, or 2.And then I eat them, starting with the smallest groups.

I've tried to figure out why I developed this little peculiarity and I think originally it was a means of not cramming them all in my mouth at once... i.e. making them last longer than 60 seconds. By the way, I only eat one small package a week!

so now you know... will you still read my blog?

grrrr

Blogger is making me crazy! I've been trying for two days to add photos. Now all of a sudden it works -- just when I was about to write another whiny post!

As I might have mentioned before, I've gotten myself into 4, count 'em 4 round robin things, all starting at the same time! What was I thinking? The only thing that makes this not completely insane is that one is the "ostrich" round robin which allows a good two months for each round, and I don't have to package it up and send it to anyone.

First up is from my local mini-group. We've had a couple of successful round robins in the past, and one spectacularly bad one! The group has 5 people with different design sensibilities and different levels of quality-tolerance, so it's always a surprise to see what you get. The center block I came home with is here (made by Susan):The theme of this RR is "stretching tradition", from a book of the same name (I don't remember the author) -- the idea is that you take elements of the "center" block to make more blocks for the quilt and/or make the same block in different sizes. So, it's up on my wall waiting impatiently for inspiration.

Then I'm in an online group that decided to do a row robin and a round robin... I'm the hostess for this, and I really wanted to do the row, but since only 3 others signed up for the round I ended up in both -- aren't I a pushover? My row was the all-neutral one I showed you a couple of weeks ago; here's the first one I received in the mail (made by Lynn)-- again, I don't really know what I'm going to do with it. I don't "do" applique, so I just need to come up with some complementary pieced blocks. I'm thinking something leafy.


And last but not least, here's the first center block I received for the round robin (made by Michelle) -- love that batik! I've already figured out a diamond border for this using EQ5 and I have the paper foundations printed out. The colors are a little tricky, but since September 1 is coming soon I foresee a little fabric-shop expedition in my future for just the right shade of green...

As a special treat (ha ha) here's a picture of the last round robin my mini-group did. Everyone had these very "arty" center blocks, and when I pulled out my happy face center it definitely changed the mood! I only did it to annoy everyone, in a fun sort of way -- honest!

(growling again -- I tried to add one more photo and it flaked out on me again...).

Monday, August 28, 2006

what's up with Blogger?


I wrote a nice long post about all the round robin stuff I'm working on... but blogger won't let me add any photos! Or rather, it SAYS it's uploading photos but then they never show up. Extremely annoying.

I've spent part of the day trying to sell a car. Anyone looking for a '99 Camry, V6, stick shift with low miles? What a pain.

Boy, I'm just griping up a storm this afternoon! I'd better stop before I bum y'all out. I'll try again in a little bit with those photos...

As I suspected, I tried one more time and it works now!AAARGH!
So here's something diffferent. Remember I was looking for that Buggy Barn book to make "Crazy Cats" for a Humane Society auction? Well, here are my "5 Crazy Cats" -- they still need buttons for eyes, and there are going to be some crazy flowers in there, too. I love the Buggy Barn "crazy" technique and I see more of this kind of thing in my future. The whiskers are made from tiny rickrack (note to self: tiny rickrack is made of polyester, so don't use an iron set on "cotton" unless you want to rip seams and clean the iron)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

I'm a Winner!


Well, I'm not buying any fabric this month, but that doesn't mean I can't win some, right? One of the UFO challenges I joined was on a small Yahoo group, and I recently won 10 FQs -- they arrived yesterday, and quite a variety, I must say! I admit that often if I send in FQs to be used as prizes I go through my stash thinking about "why did I buy this" and "what have I used in something and never want to see it again" -- so I shouldn't be surprised by this set!




I do have to say, though, that these morning-glory things look like something from a sci-fi movie. Don't they just look like they're harboring little aliens that will take over the earth?
And -- strange as it may seem -- the green blobs are my favorite! I have no why it appeals to me; I'm think I'm going to try to work it into the Ostrich Round Robin (a few posts back) in one of the borders.



By the way, I didn't win the EBay auction -- I was bidding on the Buggy Barn book "The Crazy Things We Do" because I really want the Crazy Cats pattern. The auction closed at $20! and the book retails for $22 -- not much of a bargain. I promised a cat-themed wallhanging for a Humane Society fund-raiser; I've changed my mind about 6 times but I was kinda set on the Crazy Cats, so I have to keep looking.

Friday, August 18, 2006

it's me again

Well, my old sluggy habits are returning and I've been falling behind on my posts. It's that work thing, you know -- gets in the way of everything!



I do want to report that it is August 18 and I have not bought any fabric this month! I didn't officially join any group for this, and I still haven't managed to get the html code for this picture to put it in my sidebar (and I must confess, I haven't actually asked anyone for it...) . I am planning to bid on a book on EBay this afternoon, though -- can't tell you which one because I want to WIN without any more interference. I'm going to try to be one of those horrible people who puts in a bid about 10 seconds before the auction ends. bwahahahaha! But it is for a good cause, which I'll explain later, promise!

Today I need to go look for "gifties" to send with a row robin I'm doing -- Here's a picture of the blocks for my first row. I stole this idea from Quilting Bebbs, who did something similar with a group for a local quilt show.

I always have a hard time with gifties. I try to be original and find something other than the ol' FQ or cute package of needles... but I don't want to go too far off-track. Write and tell me what your favorites have been -- I definitely need ideas!

I need to finish up a block for (yet another) round robin that my local mini-group is doing. We're supposed to make one sort of complex block, and then the others will add borders using components of our center block. I'm doing a Hither and Yon, which is one of my favorites to make for other people but I've never made one for myself. I started using a pale blue Fossil Fern for the "light" but when I went to press the HSTs, it got totally scorched for some reason. Nothing else got scorched... $#*&$!. So -- back to the stash for something else, and I've go to re-do all those HSTs. If you hear someone cursing softly, you'll know it's me!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Friday at last!

Lately I've been working most of 5 days a week; I thought I had stopped that a few years ago, but it's crept back up and I want it to go away again! 3 days would be perfect, but I could tolerate 4 if I didn't have to go to an office.

Anyway, this is all by way of justifying why I haven't touched the sewing machine all week. However, I plan to make up for it this weekend!

I do have one picture to show off, though. This is a table-runner I made as a pattern test for Paper Panache last year, and I finally got it quilted and bound. Now if I could just learn how to keep it on my table and keep the cat off it...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

MeMeMe

here's one of those fill in the blanks thingies that I got from Calico Cat, just to waste a little time:
10 Favorites
Favorite Season: Spring
Favorite Color: electric blue
Favorite Time: late at night
Favorite Food: excellent bread and cheese
Favorite Drink: Campari & soda
Favorite Ice Cream: coffee
Favorite Place: mountain meadows
Favorite Sport to watch: soccer
Favorite Actor: ?
Favorite Actress: ?
9 Currents
Current Feeling: relaxed
Current Drink: old coffee
Current Time: 2:25 pm PDT
Current Show on TV: none
Current Mobile used: Verizon
Current Windows Open: yahoo, outlook, excel, adobe reader
Current Underwear: blue & black print Hanes Her Way
Current Clothes: black slacks, bright puple sweater set
Current Thought: "does anyone read this blog besides me?"
8 FirstsFirst
Nickname: Wally
First Kiss: friend at summer day-camp; age 13
First Crush: Kevin Smith, 2nd grade
First Best Friend: Karole P.
First Vehicle I Drove: 1966 Plymouth Belvedere!
First Job: soda jerk at Ozzie's Fountain, Berkeley, CA
First Date: movie matinee with Tony R
First Pet: Standard poodle: Sally
7 Lasts
Last Drink: fresh coffee
Last Kiss: Al (husband)
Last Meal: lunch -- salad bar salad and a piece of cornbread
Web Site Visited: Jinny Beyer's
Last Film Watched: Capote
Last Phone Call: someone at work reminding me to call someone else (which I haven't done because I'm doing this!)
Last TV show Watched: Jeopardy!
6 Have You Evers
Have You Ever Broken the Law: yes
Have You Ever Been Drunk: yes
Have You Ever Kissed Someone You Didn't Know: yes
Have You Ever Been in the Middle/Close to Gunfire: no
Have You Ever Skinny Dipped: yes
Have You Ever Broken Anyone's Heart: probably not seriously
5 Things
Things You Can Hear Right Now: people talking in a nearby conference room, the AC or a loud fan nearby, someone on the phone in the next cube
Things On Your Bed: a pile of clothes that need to be put away, one large orange cat, lots of cat-hair.
Things You Ate Today: banana, strawberries, a lowfat carrot-ginger muffin, and lunch noted above.
Things You Wouldn't Want to Live Without: family, friends, cats, internet, quilting (copied from Amy's list!)
Things You Do When You Are Bored: watch TV....
4 Places You Have Been Today: Peets Coffee, Napa Ranch for lunch, all over this office building, the bus terminal
3 Things on your Desk right now: computer, phone, and a ton of paper!
2 ChoicesBlack or White: Black
Hot or Cold: cold
1 Place You Want To Visit: a bunch of the US that I've never seen

That's it for the moment. Help yourself to this meme and carry on!

Julie

Saturday, August 05, 2006

focus!

I have a big work project to get done -- actually two of them -- but I just can't seem to make myself focus on either of them for more than a short time. I keep setting goals for myself: okay, if you get this part of it done you can go and sew for 1/2 hour -- but then I can't even stick to that! Does this happen to everyone? and how do you get over it (I know -- quit my job!)

I did spend some time seriously sewing with a couple of friends this afternoon, and got a good part of the second half of my batik jewel box sewn together. That's my UFO target for the month.

And, somehow I've signed myself up for a few "Robins" starting this month and next. I think the most interesting might be the Ostrich Robin at Peach Quilting -- called "Ostrich" because it doesn't fly: you do all the rounds yourself, following instructions that Kim will provide every couple of months! I have my center block made already -- it's a tiny bit from a pattern in Quiltmaker Magazine's last issue.

One of my online groups is doing a Row Robin and I've picked out the focus fabrics I want to use (my stash of Andover's American Tinware from their folk art collection a couple of years ago) but I haven't figured out what sort of blocks I'm going to do, yet. There's a few weeks left on that one.

Finally, one more photo and then I REALLY need to get some work done -- I finished the Spring Breeze top from A Pocket Full of Mysteries. Now to think about quilting it...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I was reading over the last few posts and realized I had never included a picture of the seemingly endless paper-piecing project I started in a class a few years ago -- so, here is the finished top:
It's quite simple -- there are 9-patch blocks made with 5 little square-in-squares, alternating with plain squares. I've never set out to do a blended quilt, but I think it looks sort of blendy! I'm calling it "Pansies Squared".