Sunday, August 25, 2013

Denver's Deer Blind

A few weeks ago I wrote that I was super busy working on a covert sewing project.  Well, here it is!  I made a deer blind for my grandson Denver.  I used a card table that I rescued from some one's garbage pile (it's TRUE -- one man's trash is another man's treasure!) - and it was a true blessing as I was still looking for a job and running out of unemployment benefits.  Free is good, right?!

I had purchased 5 yards of this great camo fabric and ended up using only 3 yards - so I guess there's another sewing project in my not-too-distant future.  Any how, the table measured 34" square and was in great shape except for a couple of paint stains and tears in the vinyl top -- who cares -- it's covered anyway!

I used the vinyl mesh fabric that you can use for beach tote bags, to make the 'door' and 3 windows.

The side windows have peekaboo flaps:

The rear window is bigger than the sides -- improved ventilation if it gets too warm for him.  I sewed two buttonholes in the fabric flap and two buttons toward the top of the back wall so it can be buttoned up, like you see here:

Denver's 2nd birthday isn't until next Saturday but I took his gifts out to him week before last, when I babysat.  At first he wasn't sure what it was or what to do with it, but with a little coaxing from his dad, he went in, came back out for some toys, and went back in again.  Success!  Mike couldn't believe I made it from scratch.  Buddy, where did you think I was going to find something like this??!!  Truly one of a kind.

I love when I put my sewing machine and brain together for fun projects.  Almost as much as I love Denver!

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Last of the Quilt Pictures

Here are the last of my favorite quilts from the AQS show in Grand Rapids last week.  Be sure to check out the last two quilts (#233 and #140) from my friend Ruth Montalvo, who is also a member of the Great Lakes Heritage Quilters.  She designed our raffle quilt for our last quilt show.  Check that version out at, in the header of the website.
Enjoy the show!

Monday, August 19, 2013

More Quilts from AQS Grand Rapids...

This first quilt was from the Hands challenge:

I don't remember the challenge that this quilt was from but I liked it a lot:

I think this quilt was from an Architecture challenge:

Amazing work!

I don't remember which challenge this one was from either but the work is incredible!!!

This last quilt is a panel quilt made by six different quilters and then put together!

I'm always attracted to a beautiful red and white quilt and apparently so were the judges!

This quilt is a take on the New York Beauty pattern only all of 'piecing' was done with quilting, using many different colors of thread!

Willy Nilly is the name of this one but it's really crazy cool!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

AQS Grand Rapids Show Pics

Friday I headed over to Grand Rapids for the AQS Quilt Show.  This was the second year for the show in Grand Rapids and it was wonderful again.

I bought some fabric to make a quilt for ME!  I know, I don't have a quilt on my bed so it's high time I do.  I cut out the pieces yesterday and started piecing it before I got distracted with housework.  I'm hoping to finish piecing it by the end of the week.  It all depends on how things go with my new job.

In the mean time here are some photos of the quilts I liked best at the show.  I'll spread the pictures out over the next few days, so you don't get too boggled or bored, whichever comes first!

These first four quilts were part of the Accuquilt Challenge.  Make sure you're sitting back from you monitor to properly view the fourth quilt (it's a dog!).

The next group of quilts are from the Master Pieces exhibit.

I believe this one is by Dianne S. Hire.  Anyone else remember if I'm right?

Libby Lehman:

Velda Newman:

Sue Nickels:

Close up -- amazing!

That's enough photos for today.  Time for me to get my things ready for work tomorrow.  I've got some paperwork to complete, clothes to pick out, and then I'm off to bed early.  No more staying up until 1 am for me!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Most Enjoyable Day

I spent the day today with my grandson Denver, babysitting while Holly and Mike were at work.  We had a super time and there's nothing like watching someone blossom.  He is so bright and not just because he's my grandson.  He can count to 10 in English and Spanish, recites the English alphabet and can imitate just about any sound a bird or mammal would make.  He won't turn 2 for two more weeks!

Tonight my friend Sue called me with news that my favorite fabric designer, Marcia Derse, is ending her own fabric line, selling her house and moving to Washington state in anticipation of the arrival of her grandchild.  At first I couldn't believe she would want to leave the home she had coveted for years prior to purchasing it a few years ago.  Her fabrics are beautiful and so successful.  How could she leave all this?  Simple -- a grandchild brings so much joy to your life that you would do anything to be near them.  This must be the case for Marcia and her husband.

Tomorrow I'll be up early again and head off to have my drug screening test for my new job before I trek across the state to the AQS quilt show in Grand Rapids.  I'll be snatching up any of Marcia's fabric that I manage to score before it's all gone!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Good News

I found out today that I'll be starting a new job on Monday.  Yes, next Monday.  I've been hired by a company in Ann Arbor, which is quite a drive but beggars can't be choosers at this point in the search.  I lost my job just over a year ago after nearly 28 years at MetLife and if you had asked me then, I never would have guessed I'd be out of work for so long.

I did work a contract job for three months after leaving MetLife and that was good from the standpoint that I learned a few new tricks but I never brought personal items to my desk space.  I am planning on taking a box of things to my new job, maybe on Tuesday, once I'm sure I'm staying!

For now, I've got to hurry up and get all the remaining things done I had planned to complete while I was out of work.  I'm going to be very busy over the next several days.

Cooking Up Something Good

I was busy cooking in the kitchen last weekend.  It's nice to have a few meals prepared ahead in case the week gets a bit hectic.  With a few appointments, interviews, cleaning, and sewing scheduled for week I knew stocking up on dinners would be good.

Saturday I used a recipe for Coq au Vin from Cooking in Cast Iron, a book I purchased at Sur la Table last week.

I started by sautéing onions, carrots, bacon, and garlic in olive oil, adding seasonings including Herbs De Provence, a new one for me.  Did you notice the cute little chicken sitting on the side of the French Oven??

It's not only adorable -- it's functional!!  I love it!  Another great find at Sur la Table!

While the vegetables were cooking I seasoned the cut up chicken pieces:

I removed the vegetables and then braised the chicken pieces, a few at a time so they wouldn't be crowded:

Next I added some dry white wine and organic chicken stock, and then the vegetables back in, and lastly some heavy cream (not in this pic).

While the Coq au Vin was cooking I made another recipe from that book for Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Onions.  What a great dinner!

Sunday I made another pot of The Pioneer Woman's Beef Stew.  My roommate seems to be enjoying my cooking -- every time I open up the leftover containers they seem to be disappearing.