Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Happy Tuesday!

I'm still here!  Alive and mostly well.  Battling some sort of stomach bug the past few days and my hands are numb from too much sewing and typing on my laptop at work.  Work is still work and the drive is deplorable -- 3+ hours to and from the office today.  

Much more sewing to do between now and Christmas but most of my shopping is done now.  Wrapping things by Saturday because I'm heading out to see Holly, Mike, and Denver on Sunday to exchange gifts.  I'm taking extra meds for my hands and hoping to make it through the holiday!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sandy Klop's Trunk Show, Part 2

Here are the last of the photos from Sandy Klop's wonderful trunk show at GLHQ.  Hope you enjoy her amazing work!

She has great patterns for children's quilts.  Be sure to check out her American Jane website!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Sandy Klop's Trunk Show, Part 1

I mentioned last Monday that GLHQ was fortunate to have Sandy Klop lecture and teach this month.  Here are a few of the quilts she brought for her trunk show.  She brought 3 large suitcases fully of glorious quilts -- eye candy for everyone who attended.  Sandy has two books out plus a plethora of patterns on her website -- be sure to check it out.

Monday, November 25, 2013

More Time Please!

Time.  Do we ever have enough?  I wish I could shake a few of my crafting ideas right out of my head and set them aside for another year!  Instead I want to do EVERYTHING!

I took a wonderful quilt workshop with Sandy Klop a couple weeks ago.  More on Sandy in a few days.  I've been sewing Christmas presents for my mom and my kids.  Lots of items for the upcoming Holiday Bazaar at GLHQ.  I even cranked out a flannel/terry burp cloth for a woman at work I don't even know -- she's expecting a baby boy!

For now I'm back to focusing on items for the bazaar.  Here's a great little pin duo I made using Angela Walters' fabric line, Legacy.  The pin pattern comes from Indygo Junction's book, Fabric Flowers.  The pins are fast to make up -- the hardest part was deciding on which fabrics to use.  Wait, I think I'll make more!

First you need to select some beautiful fabrics and cut them ON THE BIAS into 2" wide pieces of varying length but no longer than 4.5".

Sew them together in a long strip:

Press the seams open and then press the long strip in half to make it 1" wide.  Using 1/4" cotton cording and a zipper foot, start sewing the corded strips, as close as you get to the cording.  Turn the fabric ends in 1/4" and trim the cording 1/2" from the end of the fabric.

Next, trim the excess fabric away from the sew, being careful not to breach the seam!

Here are the pins coiled up to see how I like them, held together with just a straight pin.

Now the real sewing begins:

The backside is not particularly attractive but that's okay.

I sewed a pinback to a nice piece of felted plaid wool (1/8" smaller than the pin) and then sewed the wool, using a straight stitch, to the back of the coiled fabric:

Looks mighty cute on my shirt but it's going to be sold at the Bazaar next month instead!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Denver and the Petting Zoo

Today was a super day.  I drove out with my roommate to see Holly and Denver at the Westview Orchard in Romeo.  Kevin organized the outing and Holly chose the orchard.  It was sunny but super windy, which made us zip along to avoid getting too cold.

We managed to make it on the last day the orchard was having their petting zoo for the year, a key attraction for Holly.  Denver was so excited.  He was making all the different animal sounds.  First up were the donkeys.

The donkeys were so cute!  Denver and Holly are too!!

Next came the goats -- probably my favorites!  They were so gentle at taking the little oats we had for treats:

Everything was going great until Denver got a tiny speck of goat poop on his face.  Then came the meltdown and hasty retreat from their pen:

Who could resist this face???!!!

I spotted this beautiful chicken:

Denver climbed on the giant tires:

And hung out with his Uncle Kevin:

And made up with the goats:

We had some cider and donuts and posed for a picture:

Then we grabbed a quick lunch at the Romeo Family Restaurant.  Denver was pretty good but when the waitress stopped by and told him he better sit down or he'd have to leave (playfully, of course!) he got a really serious look on his face and said OK.  He was so cute!  

I sure wish I could have more days like this.  Aside from being a bit chilly, it was perfect!!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Checking In

Oh my goodness time flies when you're having fun.  I found a new route to work and while it may not be faster every day, as least psychologically it's a better alternative for me.  I'm also still hoping for a new job closer to home.  A few different recruiters are trying to find me something and another company reached out to me last week.  I had applied there and never heard back but now I am -- yippee!  They are exactly one mile due south of me!!!!!  I could walk to work.  I could ride my bike to work.  I could drive 20 miles each week instead of 515.  Please send all positive vibes and prayers my way !!!!

Last Friday I took a day off of work to go get a stress test with a 2-D echo.  I did well but I had to have an IV inserted with contrast so the images would be clearer on the echo.  Now I have to call my doctor to see if I can still have my bone density screening on Wednesday.  After I got home Friday I was reading over my instructions for that test and saw that you're not supposed to have any contrast within 7 days.  Uh-oh.

In the mean time, I spent all day yesterday cutting out fabric for various projects, and then today I sewed.  I should be able to take some photos in a day or two and maybe even a little tutorial.  It's getting closer to the holidays so I will be ramping up production in the sweat shop.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


I'm committed to lots of things.  My family.  My friends.  My crafting.  But right now, I committed to finding a job closer to home.  I had a miserable ride in to work this morning.  It took me 40 minutes to go the final 4 miles of my commute.  I'm not exaggerating.  I wish I was.  Altogether, it took me an hour and 50 minutes just to get to work.  I was soooo very frustrated but many of my co-workers were stuck in that traffic too.

I'm committed to finding yet another route to work tomorrow, even if it means driving through Ypsilanti to do so.  I'd much rather be moving along through its downtown at 25-35 mph than sitting at a complete standstill on the so-called expressway.  And this was in perfectly good, clear weather.  What's it going to be like when the snow starts to fall???  I hope I can come up with an alternate work situation before then.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Good Deeds

This past Thursday was our GLHQ guild meeting.  We had Jacquie Gering as our speaker and she was wonderful.  I loved her quilts and she is so friendly.  I'm sorry I didn't sign up for her workshops but I'll look for her in the future.

I showed my Keeping Tabs quilt even though I hadn't finished sewing down the binding.  Truthfully, I barely started sewing it down but I wanted to show it anyway.  One of our members is getting up there in years -- she's 88 and such a dear.  She asked if she could finish sewing down my binding for me as she's 'just sitting on the couch anyway these days.'  At first I hesitated because I wanted to do it but then I realized that by allowing her to do it she was feeling productive and helpful.  I thanked her profusely and gladly handed over my quilt.

Isn't nice when you can allow someone to do something for you and it makes both of you happy???!!!!  I tend to be pretty independent and don't often allow others to do things for me but I am really glad I 'let' Lee do this for me.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Catching Up

Last week was a really long one for me at work.  Three days were 11+ hours long and one day I made a trip to Lansing from Ann Arbor after work for nothing.  Long story, I'll tell it soon.

I've been moaning and groaning about this new job, saying I'll never last 6 weeks, but I have.  One day last week I recalled that I said the same thing about my job at MetLife, more than 29 years ago and look how long that lasted.  My new director was in town last week and commented on how confident I sound, compared to when I first started there.  Duh.  I must have said it a hundred times while job hunting, that I can learn any database given a little time to wander around and play with the system.

I haven't stopped looking for another job because it sure would be nice to be closer to home.  For now this will do.  I'm hoping for a lighter week ahead because I really want to get home early enough to get some sewing done.  I sewed the binding on my Keeping Tabs quilt and have to sew it down by hand now, hopefully before the guild meets on Thursday.

As my friend Sue would tell you, I'm spending my paycheck at the quilt shops near my office.  So much great fabric out there - so little time!  I started a new Hexie project today with some beautiful Art Gallery fabrics I picked up yesterday at Creative Quilt Kits in Brighton -- had to check out their new digs.  I really like the new spot and when I have more time to browse I'll be back.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Keeping Tabs Reveal

Last Monday I took my quilt top, backing, and a new-to-me cotton batting called Soft and Crafty (hope they didn't mean crappy...) to the folks at Quality Quilting in Ann Arbor.  It happens to be less than 5 minutes from my office -- that's one convenient thing about this job.

I got the call from them on Thursday that it was ready to be picked up.  I jumped in my car and zipped right over there.  I am amazed at their turn-around time.  After work, I stopped by Pink Castle Fabrics because a) I could use their large cutting table to trim up my newly finished quilt, b)They were having a 30% off sale, and c) I had yet to choose a binding fabric.

After trimming up the quilt I scoured the bolts for the right binding fabric and after auditioning many different options I ended up finding none that worked just right.  As luck would have it, I have enough leftover fabric from my backing fabric to do the deed.  I hope to have the binding sewn on by the end of the week.  Phew!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Does your life ever seem to get out of control?  You feel like you can't do anything you WANT to do, only things you HAVE to do?  That's how I've been feeling lately.  Mostly, I suppose, because I don't have any control over what's going on at my new job.  And it's not going well.  When you test software you have to have guidelines, expectations, and consequences.  I'm not feeling that at my place.  Still on the hunt for something better for me that is closer to home.  Every day is at least an 11 hour day including my commute, and some days are closer to 12 hours.  All work and no play makes Suz a sad girl.  And tired too.  Too tired to be crafty when I get home.  Maggie is lucky to get a well-deserved walk when I get home.

It's all temporary, I just know it.  Soon I'll be returning to my crafty self.  I did manage to make a super cute little bear to auction off at the quilt guild's Holiday Bazaar in December:
The pattern comes from a cute book, Sweet & Simple Handmade, by Melissa Wastney.  It's full of great projects, many of them upcycling items around the house.  I used minty green linen/cotton fabric from Pink Castle Fabrics (conveniently around the corner from my office -- thank GOD for something pleasurable!)  for the body, with a bit of cotton from my latest quilt for those cute ears, a little grosgrain ribbon, and #5 embroidery Perle cotton for the face.  I've bought a lot more colors of linen so I better get sewing!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


I've been busy and the blog's been quiet lately.  I promise I'll be back soon will lots to say and a few pictures, too.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Look Who's 2 !!!!

Denver wasn't feeling too well, but he still is awfully cute!  Love those curly locks!!