Saturday, January 20, 2007

It's raining; it's pouring, and we're not snoring!

AAARGH! I just wrote this whole posting, and I did a preview to make sure the photo was correct. And then when I went back it took me to the dashboard and lost the whole thing! So I will not preview this time. I will just post and edit if needed.

It is pouring down rain here and we're hoping to be out of drought status! It is a great day to get lots of stuff done. I drove down to McKinney for the "strip club" meeting at the quilt asylum this morning. The new strip set is tans & browns. Good for me cuz it is very different from what I usually get. The pattern is appropriately named: Hash Browns. (So of course I had to have hash browns for lunch! I think it was subliminal.) You can view the completed quilt at The Quilt Asylum Clubs. Anyhow, this photo is of my strip set, background fabric (dk brown w/strings), inner border (cheddar w/little red & green) and outer border (red w/large print of gold, brown & green). Unfortunately, I can't get to it today. I have to work on the cowboy quilts. When they are finished, I can do other things. I am hoping to have the second one pretty well finished by the end of the weekend. I'm still debating on how to do the third one. I need something fast & easy. I'll see what fabric I have left.

I also attended the FROG meeting following the Strip Club meeting. FROG is an acronym for fabric reformation and organization group. Everyone just talked about stuff. Susan had made a block for the heartstrings quilt project. It is a group that is collecting string quilt squares to make quilts--or quilt tops--or finished quilts--or whatever for donation to charitable organizations. Their website is here: Heartstrings for more information and guidelines for making squares. Susan also shared with us some of her scrap quilts one of which was made with "leaders and enders." It has slews of fabrics in it with each piece finishing to 1" x 3". Here tis at: The Quilt Asylum's Blogspot. Check it out as it's awesome. It is all quilted and bound now. I am just going to have to try my hand at this "leaders & enders" thing. Now if I can only get started...

I just have to report that this past week, the attendance of my organic/biochemistry class increased by 50%! Word must be getting out! Well, hold onto your hats. Enrollment went from 2 students to 3. (It's all in how you report the numbers.) This course is only an elective for environmental science and the students don't seem to plan very well as it's only offered every other year. But just think of the individualized attention! These kids will learn lots!

Well I better get...
Back to work,

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Brrrr - An Icy Day

Here's some photos of our beautiful icy day on Monday - MLK Day. It might be pretty, but, baby, it's cold outside!

There's a weather prediction that we might even receive some snow flurries tomorrow (Wed) morning! Wouldn't that be pretty!

Today, we checked in the organic/biochem lab & Katie (my lab assistant) was a great help! We had to get all of the keys and locks worked out for every drawer & cabinet in the lab room. Then we worked out who gets what set so that the students end up evenly spaced out and each student has a faucet. I ended up getting mechanical and changed out 4 lock that I couldn't get to work properly. Those camlocks just don't hold up well in a lab environment plus they are not really made for these drawers. I think we finally have all of it worked out though. It doesn't seem to matter what I do at the end of the previous semester! It's always a chore the next. Tomorrow we check in the first section of organic II.

Hope you are staying warm & dry,

Sunday, January 14, 2007

What to do on an icy day?

We're in the middle of an ice storm here in North Texas-in case you haven't heard. We have been pretty lucky here at our house--no loss of electricity so far and we even drove to church this morning, slowly, I might add. (There were several vehicles abandoned in the medians and ditches off the highway!) The ice is pretty gorgeous outside on the trees. Tomorrow, I am going to take some photos. I decided to wait one more day as it is supposed to continue to keep drizzling and sleeting through tomorrow. However, after we skedaddled home from church this morning we definitely stayed in the rest of the day! So what's a quilter to do? Well, sew of course!

Here's a quilt top I finished that I had been working on. I did have the attic window blocks already completed.

I'm going to try to quickly do a couple more "cowboy quilts" for a family in our church that is moving to New Jersey. They have 3 little boys and 1 little girl. We'll see how it goes!

Stay warm,

Sunday, January 07, 2007

What a day

Whew. I was so looking forward to today. It was the "Family Blessing" service at church where each family goes up to the altar and receives a special prayer and blessing from pastor to start the new year. It is always special to me especially since we almost lost Jessica a couple Christmases ago. It still was wonderful except I was getting this terrible migraine. By the time we arrived home I just collapsed in bed for several hours. I had taken some of my special migraine medicine and I finally went to sleep for a few hours. That really helped.

When I finally "came to" I helped my daughter make a "little purse". It looks so easy, but it has a ton of pockets! And two zippers. We managed to get it finished so she can take it to school tomorrow, but it certainly did me in for the night! Here are some pics of the purse. Unfortunately, I couldn't manage to get any of the cute lining fabric she chose.

The first is the front.

This is the view inside.

This is the outside & back of the purse.

You can sort of see all of the different pockets!

Well, I think I will veg out for the rest of the evening. I have to go in to work tomorrow. Break is over. sigh....

Rest up,

Saturday, January 06, 2007

What do Happy Blocks, Cowboys & a Tablerunner all have in common?

Hmmm.... I've been sewing them this week!

I joined up with a swap group on Block Central that is making "Happy Blocks"--8" finished blocks for swapping. (So they are 8.5" now.) The center is a 4" square of fabric surrounded by a 2" square of a different fabric. To make one you cut a 4.5" square of one fabric and a 2.5" strip of another fabric. Then crosscut the strip into 2-4.5" rectangles and 2-8.5" rectangles. Sew each 4.5" rectangle to the top and bottom of the square. Iron; then sew each of the 8.5" rectangles to the other two sides of the square. There you have it! Easy and quick--can't get much happier than that! I have now made 12 blocks! First I made 6 blocks of "anything."

Then I found out that they were supposed to be in a "Valentine's Theme." So I had to make 6 more! I made 2 each of 3 versions. But all is not lost as I can use the original 6 in the next months swap as that month's theme is "anything goes."

I also finished a "Cowboy Cuddle Quilt" for my little nephew Anthony. I will get it in the mail to him asap as it is a late Christmas present. I hope my brother and his wife send me a photo of him with his quilt! They live in the Chicago area. So I do not get to see them.

The tablerunner to the right is for my husband's sister-in-law. I was hoping to do it sooner, but that didn't work out. So I did it early January. I think it came out okay, but I had never turned corners on the binding that are obtuse before so I was not sure how to fold it. I also didn't do a traditional binding and hand-sewed it to the back either which I probably should have done cuz I was in a hurry and it would have helped the corners! The hands holding it up are my husbands! When I edited the photo with photoshop it looked silly with just his fingertips on the edges so I decided to redo it and leave his hands in! Now it's just funny with the disembodied look!

The coolest thing happened yesterday--we had purchased a table & chairs set for our kitchen from Haverty's about 6 months ago. My oldest daughter was doing crafts on the table--which she was NOT supposed to be doing, I might add--and she got a bunch of purple spots of permanent marker on the top of the oak table top! Needless to say we were not too happy about this. However, when we had purchased the table & chairs we also had purchased a leather recliner and being concerned about having a cat and leather together we bought Haverty's special protection package for all of the furniture. When I called them and told them about the ink they told me how to go about filling out the paperwork for a claim. It only took a few weeks and someone came out and looked at the table. They were going to try and clean the ink off. If they couldn't get it off they would replace the table! Well, THEY REMOVED THE INK without hurting the finish! I couldn't believe it! It looks brand new! I couldn't get them to show me the product they used either. (Being a chemist and all, I really wanted to look at that bottle!) They took before and after photos. Best money I ever spent on one of those deals!

I even was energized to clean out my refrigerator!

Happy sewing & cleaning,

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Mini Photo??

I am going to attempt to upload a photo and make it my "identity photograph."
Wish me luck!

PS Hey, when I was pasting in the URL for the photo I noticed that my description said "husband of 23 years". It was time to change it! We celebrated our 24th anniversary this past New Year's Eve! Next year will be THE BIGGIE.

New Year Catch Up!

Ho Ho Ho and Happy New Year! It's 2007! Hard to believe! I hope everyone had a wonderful celebration of Christ's birth. We sure did. Our service at church was just beautiful. We had the best music. Our organist's daughter sang "O Holy Night" and put many of us in tears it was so gorgeous. Our pastor also has this marvelous tradition -- he arranges and performs for us a Christmas song on the piano. It was wonderful as usual. "It is our Christmas gift," he says, "for Jesus and for us."

My friend Amy played cello throughout the service and the choir did two numbers. My younger daughter and I also participated in the prelude music. Chelle played both flute and piano (not at the same time, I might add) while I held my own on the clarinet. It was an interesting time of it as I was to play in a trio. The week before Christmas, we lost one member and were down to two. Then on Christmas Eve morning I found out that member #2 had terrible back problems and was going to the emergency room! Oh dear. (She is fine, just on muscle relaxers, by the way.) But she could not play that evening! I really didn't want to do two solos! So I recruited my dear friend Sharon who whisked out her clarinet practiced that afternoon and joined me! We did pretty well! Must be those angels helping us along plus a great accompanist!

That evening we opened all of our gifts -- not our normal tradition -- as we headed up to Minneapolis to visit my husband's brother & family early Christmas morning. Our nephew was home for a month's leave from the army. His battalion had been deployed to Kuwait and Iraq for part of last year so we had a particular wish to see him before he returned.

However, we stopped in St. Joseph, Missouri on Christmas evening and visited with my sister & husband and grandmother. I finally was able to give my grandmother the quilt I had been making her. She was very excited when she opened the box. She said, "Oh a quilt -- for me?" She was just delighted! Here are photos of the quilt and her with it. She asked me what "pattern" the quilt was and I told her I called it "Grandma's Stars" and showed her the label on the back with her name on it. I also pieced the back of the quilt as I couldn't find enough fabric of one kind that I liked on the sale bolts!

MInneapolis was not too cold! We've been there when it was much colder! But there was NO SNOW! We could not believe the lack of snow throughout Missouri, Iowa and Minnesota. It was a brown Christmas! Colorado had it all. We had nice time visiting with my husband's family and were especially glad to see our nephew Andrew. The girls were able to swim with a USA team at the University of Minnesota which was quite great of them! And all too soon we headed back home. The lack of snow did make traveling easier! We had a little rain on the way home. And here in Texas they are telling us it might be in the 70s on Friday! Whoa!

Stay warm,