Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Road Trip

We're leaving on a trip to Florida on Friday so I'm looking for things to keep me busy. We're driving and the trip is a combination of personal and business travel.

We'll be gone for about 11 days and traveling from Marietta, GA to Orlando, Tampa, and then on to the Ft. Lauderdale area.

We're taking Chesty because he's still on restricted activity since his surgery and we can't leave him in the kennel (not that I'd want to leave him for 11 days anyway). He does fine on car trips but we've never stayed in hotels with him before. It should be interesting.

I decided to dig out my Cathedral Windows blocks to take with me to alternate with the crochet baby blanket I'm working on. I haven't worked on this UFO in a year or two so maybe I'll make a little progress on this trip.

Finished UFO #4

Finished the binding on the hearts tonight. Rather than reposting the picture here I just replaced the unfinished one in my previous post with the finished quilt.

This makes 4 completed UFO's in January but progress in February will be much slower due to two trips I have planned. I'll be gone 19 days between the Florida trip and then a trip to my Mom's to attend the Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Puppy rehab

On the 21st the vet told us to *dance* with Chesty 3x a day to help rehab his leg after the surgery.

Here's Keith dancing with him last weekend.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Another top finished

The new top

Adam's Quilt

I finished another top tonight. This one is also a UFO but the only thing I had done prior to working on it this week was cutting the strips.

Cutting out scrap quilts can be such a chore that I like to cut more than one at a time when possible. I cut the strips for this charity quilt when I was cutting Becky's quilt in November.

I have the book Super Simple Strips by Lynda Milligan & Nancy Smith and had made Adam a quilt based on one from this book in Nov 2004 - I think the only change I made was the size. This was the same pattern I chose for this charity top. It's quick and easy.

Hiking this weekend

Keith and I finally got a day to hike and were able to spend the afternoon at Amicalola Falls State Park in North Georgia. We hiked the long route up to the top of the falls (including the dreaded 425 steps) had lunch at the lodge, and hiked down the shorter path back to the Visitor Center.

A picture of a few of the 425 steps to the top of the Falls

A view of the Falls from the top

Another view from the top of the Falls

What I'm reading

Widow of the South Robert Hicks

This was a disappointing novel. I enjoyed the 13 page Author note at the end of the book which gave the historical information the novel was based on but thought the book itself was poorly written.

Sleep No More Greg Iles

Also a disappointment. I usually enjoy mysteries written by Iles but this one was bizarre and unrealistic.

One review I just read put it perfectly - from Publishers Weekly

"Iles has written some solid, beautifully constructed thrillers (24 Hours; Dead Sleep), so when his latest seems for page after page to have no logical explanation for its central mystery, we hold on, bide our time and wait for the moment of revelation that will make everything fall into place. Unfortunately, that moment never comes."

Friday, January 27, 2006

Guild meeting

I attended my local guild meeting this morning - the East Cobb Quilters Guild. I've been a member for most of the last 3 years and attend meetings when I'm not out of town.

Today was the first time I'd taken in one of my quilts and shared it with the group. I showed my Autumn Cabin quilt.

One of the things I really like about this guild is that they bring in national speakers and although I don't take the classes I thoroughly enjoy the lectures.

Today we had Carol Taylor lecturing and showing her quilts. She was an interesting speaker and her quilts were vibrant. I don't make art quilts and they're not my favorite type of quilts but I can certainly appreciate the talent and creativity it takes to make them.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Finished the binding Tuesday 1/31/06

Here's another UFO I've been working on. This top had been sitting on the shelf for over a year now. I pulled it out and loaded it on Sunday and finished up the quilting today.

Hopefully by the weekend it will be bound, labeled and checked off as completed.

This quilt will be donated to the local Ronald McDonald House which is the main charity supported by my Guild. They collect the quilts once a year and I try to have as many as I can to donate. This year they'll be collected in August and this is the 3rd one set aside for that purpose. My mom and sister have helped out too and over the last 3 years we've donated 27 quilts to the Ronald McDonald House.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Twin Log Cabin Quilts

We went up to the Condo for the weekend and I got the new quilts on the beds.

I still have to replace the pink carpet in this room but I love the quilts and am happy to get rid of the blue comforters that were on the beds.

Baby Quilt

I finished the binding up on Friday.

If you click on the picture you should be able to see the quilting better. It was a new pantograph and I liked how it turned out.

Saturday, January 21, 2006


I'm curious why more people don't have an email address listed in their Blog Profile. I have mine listed and don't seem to get anymore spam than usual in my mailbox.

It's a lot more convenient to respond to comments when people have an email listed.

What do the rest of you think? Are there other reasons you aren't listing your email address?

UFO Finished

I finished the binding on the Baby Log Cabin quilt. That's the 3rd UFO completed for 2006. We're up in the mountains this weekend so I'll post a picture when we get back home.

I've also got both of the twin log cabin quilts up here with me and am going to put the on the beds and take a picture of them too. I'm so happy to have them finished.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Thanks for all the encouragement and I don't plan to give up. I will try to attend the Hospice orientation in April if I am notified about the dates in time to make sure I'm in town.

In the meantime I plan to go to a nearby Senior Day Care Center and see about volunteering there. I've already spoken to the coordinator so I expect it won't be a problem.

Tomorrow I'm going to a mini Bee group and will work on stitching the binding down on the Baby Log Cabin. I've belonged to a large guild on and off for the past 3+ years but this will just be the 2nd Bee group meeting I've attended. I'm trying to get more involved in things that get me out of the house.

Once I finish stitching this binding down I will have finished 3 UFO's this month. I really like how the pantograph turned out on this quilt and when I finish the binding I'll post a close-up of the quilting.

What I'm reading

The Love Wife Gish Jen

This was an interesting novel but the style of writing took me a while to adapt to. It was narrated by the different characters and the story jumped back and forth in time and back and forth between characters.

I enjoy books about other cultures (Chinese and Chinese American in this book) and find stories about relationships interesting.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

My 3rd Goal for 2006

Cher asked what my third goal was. I had intended to at least begin it before posting but I had another setback yesterday toward meeting it so I'm going to have to rethink.

I haven't worked outside the house for almost 5 years now. In that time, I've made tons of charity quilts so I guess my quilting has been my job. I have at different times thought about going back to work - my need to be useful and productive - but couldn't find something that met my needs and allowed me to take off and travel with Keith whenever I wanted.

This year I've decided that I will volunteer and have been trying to volunteer at Hospice. They worked with me a year ago in the months I cared for Keith's Dad before he passed away and I felt it was a perfect opportunity to give back.

However, the volunteer coordinator is not very responsive and although I've called and left messages and written, all I get are form letters a week or two before the required orientation class. Three times now - I've already had trips out of town planned and was unable to attend. This last time I specifically asked for future dates so I could plan my schedule and attend. Yesterday I got the 4th letter and again will be out of town for the February class.

I spoke with her again and she's not sure when the next class will be, sometime in April maybe the 9 and 16 and no I can't volunteer before taking the class.

So I guess I'll look for something else in the meantime. I'm very disappointed.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Working on my Goals for 2006

The second of my three goals for 2006 is to lose weight and exercise more. To help me accomplish that goal I joined Weight Watchers and attended my first meeting tonight.

I hope to retrain myself to eat regular meals and to exercise consistently. I wouldn't mind losing 20-25 lbs before my son's wedding in October either!

I'm making good progress on my quilting goals. Two finished UFO's, two completed tops, 18.5 yards stash used that can be counted for the 100 Yard Dash, and UFO #3 is on the frame and 1/2 way quilted.

Goal #3 still to be met.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Another UFO

This is the last log cabin I'm doing this year! Well, at least for six months.

I went looking for another UFO to work on today and pulled these blocks out. Just a simple baby quilt. I needed to make just 5 more blocks and yet this project sat in a basket for almost 2 years.

Now that this top is finished I'm going to have to work on piecing some backs and doing some quilting. I ordered some new pantographs that I want to try out.

What I'm reading

On the RunIris Johansen

This Mystery/romance story was an entertaining and easy read.

Laura: America's First Lady, First Mother Antonia Felix

Another $0.99 bargain book - not a hard hitting biography but mildly interesting. I hadn't realized that she had been involved in an accident at 17, running a stop sign and killing the 17 year old driver of the other car. It's hard to imagine having to live with that.

I think one my worst fears when my sons were new drivers was that they'd injure or kill - not themselves - but someone else.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Top finished

I finished the butterfly top tonight. It looks much better with the borders. It sat unfinished for months because I didn't like how it was turning out but now it's not so bad and will make a nice charity quilt.

Here's the picture I posted the other day of it without borders.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I've been tagged by Judy

Four jobs you've had: Library page, Public Health Nurse Supervisor, Labor and Delivery Nurse, Disability Case Manager (which I hated and only stayed 3 months!)

Four movies you could watch over and over: I don't watch movies more than once but I love to see movies after I've read a book. Hunt for Red October and Silence of the Lambs were good and I'm anxious to see The Constant Gardner and Memoirs of a Geisha

Four places you've lived: Newport News VA, Virginia Beach VA, Pembroke Pines FL, and Valrico FL

Four TV shows you love to watch: West Wing, Law & Order, CSI, House

Four Places You've Been on Vacation: Copenhagen, London, San Francisco, Seattle

Four Websites You Visit Every Day: There are no websites I visit every day

Four Places You'd Rather Be: hiking, on the beach, walking in a city, reading in front of a fire

Four Of Your Favorite Foods: Cheese , Spaghetti, Cheese, almost anything Thai

Four Albums you can't live without: No specific albums but Celtic and classical music in general, Andrea Bocelli, Anita Baker

Four People you'll pass this on to:

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Jeanne's Mystery Quilt

I just finished a similar quilt in December for my future daughter-in-law. It's a half log cabin block but I've seen the pattern sold as a Bento Box Quilt. I must be stuck on log cabin quilts, this is my 3rd variation in the last several months.

Jeanne's Mystery Quilt looks different than my scrap version. I think hers has a more graphic look and she's right that it goes together really quickly.

Next in line

It's time to start on another UFO. I'm not sure where I was going with this one but I'm going to put a few borders on to make it lap size, quilt, and donate it.

I'll use EQ5 to work out the size of the borders.

What I'm Reading

Two more books I bought the other day on the $1.99 table at Barnes and Noble. So far of the three I bought one was very good, one was OK, and one was bad but for $6 total they're well worth the price.

Louisiana Bigshot Julie Smith

The book is about a female PI in New Orleans. Mysteries are my favorite genre and I've read a few of Julie Smith's books but this was not one of my favorites.

A Collection of Beauties at the Height of Their PopularityWhitney Otto

This book was written by the woman who wrote How to Make an American Quilt and it will be one of the few books I don't finish. Usually even if the book is not well written I want to find out what happens - in this case I don't care.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Log Cabin Twins

The quilt on the right is completed and I've just got to stitch down the binding down on the second one and these will be done.

They aren't exactly alike. My mom pieced the first one (on the left in the picture) starting with a dark round and ended with a light round. She decided that there was too much beige so when she made the second set of blocks she started with the light round and ended with a dark. They're also quilted with two different pantographs.

Now I'm off to post on Stashbusters that I've completed my first UFO for 2006 with the second one to be done within the week.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Log Cabin #1 finished

I finished the binding on the first twin log cabin quilt tonight and the other is on the machine with the quilting about halfway finished.

I hope to have them both completely done by the end of this week and on the beds the weekend of the 24th when we go back up to the condo.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

What I'm Reading

Everything Scrabble Joe Edley, John D. Williams

OK, did I tell you that I'm very competitive? My husband and I have gotten back into playing Scrabble and keeping track of how many wins we each have. Well, he's winning abut 2 times to every 1 win of mine. It's making me crazy because my vocabulary is probably better but he plays more strategically.

So I did what I do best and went and got a book in the hopes of picking up enough tips to beat him into the ground! And did I mention that the quiet evenings sitting in front of the fire with a glass of wine and the music playing while we compete is wonderful.

Quilting progress

In spite of all the posts about books and knitting I'm still a quilter and am making progress on the twin log cabin quilts for the Condo.

I'm having to grab quilting time here and there because with Keith gone for 2 weeks if I'm not sitting with Chesty, he has to be in his crate. So I sit with him a while and read, crochet, knit, or work on the computer and then crate him a little while to work on quilting.

First, let me say that I HATE working on two similar (almost matching) quilts at the same time. I would put the second one aside for a while but I'm eager to replace the ugly comforters on the beds with quilts.

So as of yesterday, I have the binding machine stitched on the first quilt, the borders are on the second quilt and the backing is 1/2 pieced. Today my goal will be to finish piecing the back and load the second quilt on the longarm.

I just calculated that I will bust 19 yards on these two UFO's (borders, bindings, and backings) for the 100 yard dash on Stashbusters.

What I'm Reading

I am Madame X by Gioia Diliberto

I love a bargain which may explain the size of my stash! I bought this book for $1 at Barnes and Noble the other day. I thoroughly enjoyed it and read the entire book yesterday

Click the title to read a synopsis.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Zooba - Book of the Month Club Online

I recently joined a new online book club and this one may get me in trouble.

You create a reading list and then are sent one book each month from your list. You can also use the *buy now* to purchase any book.

The two reasons I joined are that all books are just $9.95 and there are never any shipping charges. (They do have current bestsellers, quilting, knitting, cookbooks, and more.)

The only catch (and this is NOT a problem for me) is that your credit card is charged 9.95 a month whether or not there are any books on your reading list. So essentially there is a minimum purchase of one book per month.

By the way, I have NO association with this site - I'm just an avid reader trying to stay in my monthly book budget. Well, there's really no budget but books are a large monthly expenditure for me so I try to find ways to save.

Click the link below to check it out
Zooba� - the latest bestsellers for only $9.95. FREE shipping!

String Quilts

Two different conversation threads led to this post. One on Quiltmaker Magazines and the second, a discussion of string quilts on Stashbusters.

I'd made two string quilts from a pattern in a previous issue of Quiltmaker's All Time Favorites and the current issue just out on the newstand also has a string quilt layout that I like.

The color combination for this first string quilt came about because I had a lot of blue and yellow strips leftover from a nine patch quilt. The second combination came from an article I'd read in a magazine showing an art quilt made with fabrics from half of the color wheel. They'd used the warm side (reds, oranges, etc) but I choose to use the cool side.

I prefer the quilt with the second combination of colors.

I'm due to make another string quilt but I'll wait a couple months and try to focus on my UFO's before starting something new.


I'm back at the Condo for a couple days so I started a new baby afghan. I'm making this one in a light blue variegated yarn and it's a free pattern from Lion Brand Yarn.

I found that knitting is much slower for me than crochet so I stick to knitting baby afghans or scarves and save the crochet for kiddie or adult size afghans. The baby and adult afghans are donated to Catholic Charities and the kiddie afghans are donated to Project Linus.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

What I'm Reading

S Is for Silence by Sue Grafton

I usually love books by Grafton but this one was difficult for me to get into at first. Finally, about 1/3 of the way through I got caught up in the story and stayed up last night until 4:30AM to finish it.


I decided to go with the blue binding. Most of the responses I received said they would go with the blue and a few suggested a red binding. I was leaning toward using the red but I have another log cabin quilt that will be going on the other twin bed in this room and I don't have enough red to do the border and binding on both of them.

I don't need them to be exactly the same but I don't have another red in my stash that will work so in the interest of using what I have rather than going out and buying another red I'm going to use the blue.

Thanks for the input.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Help Please!

I finished quilting the Log Cabin and had planned to use up some leftover binding so I sewed my scraps together (on the floor next to the quilt). But now that I'm finished with the quilt I think the blue is such a strong frame for the quilt that maybe I should use it instead of the scraps.

What do you think - should I bind the quilt in the same blue as the border or use the scrap binding?

Simple Quilts

A discussion on the Stashbuster list of YBR and Turning Twenty quilts led me to browse through my quilt pictures looking for a few of the simple patterns I use for charity quilts. I buy one yard cuts of novelty fabrics and use coordinating fabrics from my stash. I also piece backs from stash for these quilts. All of these quilts turn out really cute and are quick to make.

Simple Twisted Block
Simple Twisted Block with Applique Hearts
Simple Pinwheels
Simple Strippie


One of the things taking up my time the last 2 weeks has been an injured dog. Chesty hurt his leg on Dec 15 and had surgery the following Tuesday.

He had his post-op visit today and got his stitches out. His activity is still severely restricted meaning he has to be sitting with me (or carried by me) or in his crate.

This was his picture right after the surgery. Doesn't he look pitiful?

Monday, January 02, 2006

Big Canoe, Georgia

Since I've had several comments on the location of the porch with the Log Cabin quilt, I thought I'd share a few pictures of Big Canoe, GA. We live in Marietta which is just outside of Atlanta and in November bought a condo up in the North Georgia Mountains (about an hour's drive from Marietta).

We LOVE this area. It is so close to home that we can go up there frequently and Keith can commute to work if we stay past the weekend. There is hiking, golf, tennis, swimming, boating, and the area is gorgeous.

The first picture is the view from the deck of the condo and the other two views are nearby.

Autumn Cabin

So many people commented that they loved log cabin quilts that I just had to show off the one I finished in November. This top was completed over a year ago and it sat on the shelf until we bought the Condo at Big Canoe. I added borders, used a flannel back, quilted it and took it up with me. The colors of the quilt were a beautiful match to the colors of autumn and it has been the most wonderful quilt to wrap up in this winter.

What I'm Reading

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

My sister-in-law lent me this book months ago telling me it was disturbing. I put off reading it for a long time and finally picked it up a couple days ago.

It was disturbing but I couldn't put it down. Hosseini's portrayal of the history and culture of Afghanistan and the drama of the relationships made it a remarkable book.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Responding to comments

Yes, the quilt in the background is a Birds in the Air. That one was also pieced by my Mom for me. It works out well for both of us to trade off quilting and piecing. I also have 3 sisters that quilt now and I take credit for getting them all interested.

We frequently work together on projects even though we all live in different states. I'm in Georgia, the oldest is in Florida, the youngest is in Virginia as is my Mom (they live 3 hours apart) and the other younger sister is in Maryland just outside of DC.

The two younger sisters are still working and have kids at home so they don't get as much done. Mom's retired and the oldest sister and I aren't working now. All 5 of us are RN's so we have a lot in common.

Log Cabin #1

I had a productive start to 2006. I was able to spend most of the day working on a UFO. This is one of two log cabin quilts I’m making for twin beds in the condo. My Mom pieced the tops except for the borders and sent them to me several weeks ago (She helps me with piecing in exchange for my quilting services).

I got the borders cut and sewn on, the back made from 9 one yard pieces of fabric pulled from my stash, and finally just before supper, I loaded the quilt on the longarm. I haven’t decided if I’m going to quilt a pantograph or just meander something on it but will have to decide by tomorrow or Monday when I plan to start quilting it.

I like using stash up for quilt backings but I hate spending the extra time to piece them, especially for bed quilts.