Saturday, June 29, 2013


Some days, even with the best of intentions, things do not go according to plans.  I slept poorly last night as a result of too much caffeine too late in the day.  I woke up this morning, fully intent on attending a charity sewing day to make quilts for the victims of the devastating Oklahoma tornadoes last month.  I started by searching in my Craft Cave for a quilt top I had already finished piecing but hadn't gotten around to quilting yet.

My plan was to press the top, press the backing fabric I had bought yesterday, use the Fusi-Boo batting to make the quilt sandwich and get on the road to the event.  Everything was going well until I flipped the sandwich to the backside, just to give it a once-over as I've done EVERY other time I've used this batting.  No can do.  The backing must have had too much sizing in it or some other alien life force because no matter how much water I sprayed on it or how hot the iron was, that backing was NOT going to stick to the fusible batting.  ARGGGHHH!!!!!  See the video for 'easy' instructions.

Okay, so three hours into the effort I realized I was going to have to pin baste everything, even though the top was fused to the batting.  I know, I was shaking my head too!  I grabbed my tin of basting safety pins (the kind that are curved) and basted away on my ironing board.  By the time I was done it was after noon.  NOON for goodness sake -- the event started at 9:30 am -- I was no longer fashionably late!

I made the decision to just stay home and get it quilted and then take it over to the event.  I brewed up some iced tea and got to work quilting the beast.  I went back to the kitchen to get the tin for the pins and decided while I was up, I'd make a pit stop in the bathroom.  BIG mistake, BIG!  I spilled the tin of pins in the sink and one of them went down the drain.  ARRRGGGGHHH!  Couldn't anything go right for me today???  I went back to the kitchen and found a magnet that I was sure would help me fish out the pin.  Nope.  It just pushed the safety pin down the drain instead.  As a matter of fact, yes, I did say a few choice words.

Back to quilting, I got the center of the top done, running out of bobbin thread with 5 inches to go -- perfect!  Then I started quilting the borders.  Now mind you, I was using my new-to-me Titanium sewing needles -- tougher, supposedly.  I'm here as a witness, that when you 'bump' into a basting pin, not once but twice, YOU WILL BREAK YOUR NEEDLES!  Third needle in place, I managed to finish quilting without drawing blood, in one hour.  I used a new-to-me thread to quilt called Magnifico! by Superior Threads in a charcoal gray shade and at times it looks dusty blue on the quilt, but I like it.  I sewed the binding on and got it into the washing machine.  I really need to launder quilts with the fusible batting so I can get rid of any chemicals and/or alien life forces.  Plus I like to see it get all crinkly from shrinking.
 I think it will make a nice quilt for a boy or even an older gentleman, don't you??  Here's a close up of my quilting.  Very simply done, didn't want anything girly on it!
I completely missed the charity event today so I will have to deliver the quilt directly to Karen, who was heading up the effort.  After the day I've had I just want to go to sleep...........

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Quilt Reveal

Last Saturday I gave away two quilts:  one for my niece at her baby shower, and one for my sister who is turning 60 next month.

Baby Sofia's quilt is Italian fabrics -- the alphabet and counting fabric is from Mabelena's in Ortonville.  I was tickled when I bought it last summer.  Had no idea I'd be using it so soon!

I quilted this one myself on my Juki.

Here's the back of her quilt:

Next is the quilt I made for my sister:

It's quite large -- 91" x 94".  It was too big for me to quilt so I had the gals at Quality Quilting in Ann Arbor do it for me.  Denise loves the outdoors in her northern Michigan home.  She loves to collect rocks and work in her flower gardens.

For the back of her quilt I chose African prints, to remind her of her trip to Africa a few years ago.

I selected an all-over leaf design for the quilting pattern and I think it worked out perfectly for her.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Helpful Websites

I've found several websites lately that are super helpful and I wanted to share them with you.

GovPayNet-- You can go here to pay your parking tickets (a very common occurrence here in Royal Oak)  and lots of other municipal type bills. -- Excellent site to help you pronounce words correctly.  Perfect for ordering dinner at an Italian restaurant! -- You'll find all sorts of great things to print for free -- calendars, cards, learning activities, etc.

and finally.. --  A great site for tutorials on just about anything you can think of.  Many are free and some charge a nominal fee.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sewing Time

I've been sewing and sewing away for the past few days!  I found several cute children's clothing patterns when I visited Creative Quilting in Brighton last week -- I know, clothing patterns in a quilt shop -- yes!  Coupled with a great sale on fleece at JoAnn's last week --- $3.99 for $10.99 fabric -- I'm happy as a clam.

I made this fabulous French Beret for both my great-niece Reese and my soon-to-be-born great-niece Sofia:
And these matching overalls:
Reese turns 1 today and Sofia is due on October 2nd -- woohoo!  I sure hope they can both wear their outfits at the same time for a cute photoshoot.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Farmer's Market

Last Sunday at the Birmingham Farmer's Market I stopped at a couple of new vendors.  I picked up some delicious strawberries which I added to some plain, non-fat Chobani yogurt:

I also bought some eggs:
and they came from these beautiful chickens:

The ironworks man had this guy for a guard-dog:

There is always something new at the market!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Happy Friday!

I finished sewing down 10 yards of binding on my latest quilt on Wednesday -- phew!  I washed it and it shrank, as I figured, but went from 91" x 94" down to 84" x 91".  Hmmmm????  It looks great though and I'm so glad to have it finished.  

Now back to my regularly scheduled life.....

Last night was our last meeting of the guild year for my quilt guild.  I finished up my tenure as 1st VP, gave out a gift certificate to a local quilt shop, presented our president Sandy, with her President's Quilt, which turned out so nice, and showed two quilts at Show 'n Tell -- probably a record for me! 

At the end of the meeting I turned my cell phone back on and saw a missed call and message from my sister Renee.  I knew something was up.  My Mom was admitted to the hospital for bilateral pulmonary embolisms -- blood clots in both lungs.  Now that's a new one for her.  They put her in intensive care but after spending 4 hours with her today, that seems a bit excessive.  She's been moved to a step down room and if her next CAT scan shows the clots are breaking up/gone, she'll be going home on Monday.

I picked up some fleece fabric at JoAnn's after I left the hospital and will start on a new project tomorrow.  Watch for photo updates!

Sunday, June 9, 2013


Every time I hear a commercial that uses the word 'hundred' I want to scream!  9 times out of 10 they say 'hunnerd' instead of 'hundred'.  What is so difficult about saying One Hundred or  Two Hundred or whatever they really mean to be saying?  I'm talking about commercials for products that should know better -- mortgages, banks, etc.

The same goes for surprise -- it's not suprise; it's not axed -- it's asked, and it's not preciate -- it's appreciate.

My goodness we've gotten lazy and complacent.  When I was in high school at Rochester Adams (yes, home to Madonna), I had a teacher who was a former nun who called the way we speak 'Michigan Mush Mouth', though I'm certain it is not limited to Michigan.

While we do not need to speak the Queen's English is it too much to ask that we enunciate correctly?  Slow down, pronounce it correctly and stop making me scream every time I hear a stupid commercial!!!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Back to the Grind

My weekend up north was waaaay too short!  I had so much fun with my girlfriends and was so busy cutting fabric and sewing that I never even took a picture of the group.  What a putz!

We had wonderful food, a few libations, lots of laughs and plenty of fun.  The weather did not cooperate when I wanted to take a sunrise picture so I guess that will have to wait for next time.

While visiting my sister Denise and her husband Mike, I did manage to have a few pictures taken on my camera by Mike.  Amazingly it was chilly enough in June to warrant a fire in the fireplace:

Denise's picture was the only good part of a picture with me and our Mom:

And this is as good as it got for all three of us:

I look as dreadful as I feel.  See all those rolls and the extra chin???  All of it HAS to go!!!  Ughh!

Isn't this hummingbird beautiful??!!

I had a phone interview this afternoon with a company I would very much like to work for.  Keep your fingers crossed please!  I also received two emails from former coworkers alerting me of openings at MetLife -- not sure I could go back a third time.  What would you do?