Friday, February 29, 2008

A present for me!

Mom and I have been going to the Mid Atlantic Quilt show together since we started quilting. Sometimes Deb has come with us, sometimes my sister Ann. My aunt and cousin have also come along.

This year I missed the show but Mom told me she bought me a pattern to make a small quilt that holds a photograph thinking I could put a photo of Chesty in it. Tonight she sent me the photo of the quilt she made for me. Isn't it cute? I can't wait until she sends it to me.

By the way, although Mom made clothes for us while we were growing up and taught Deb how to sew, I wasn't interested in sewing AT ALL! My love for photography got me into quilting after seeing a memory quilt made with photographs. I wasn't able to convince Mom to make a quilt for me but somehow, I hadn't even finished my first one and I was able to convince her to try it. That was 7 and 1/2 years ago and both of us have made many, many quilts since then.

Can you pick me out in this photo? How about Deb? I just realized that photo she put in the quilt includes all the same people as the one below (Mom, my two brothers, my three sisters, and me). Click the photo to enlarge it.

Email me

String quilts

I love it when other quilters and bloggers are inspired to make string quilts and share their results with me.

Saska, at AklaCookiemaker Quilts worked with her local guild to make 17 quilts that will be donated to a local youth shelter. Make sure you click the photo to see a larger view!

You can see another string quilt at Mamaspark's World - another group effort using the HeartStrings logo designed by Forest Jane.

Email me

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I got my wish - it's snowing!

I walked to the townhouse for the inspection this afternoon and it snowed just for me! The inspection went great - just some minor things that we probably won't even ask them to address.

After crossing downtown, I walked the last stretch along the river.

You can see the townhouses on the far left (our unit is NOT on the river).

I took this photo on the walk back - you can see the small park that's right on the river coming out of our development.

Climbing the stairs on the right - brings me back up to the bridge.

I stopped for a while at the library and had a cup of coffee and read a while (yep, I had my Kindle tucked in my bag).

And finally, arriving back at the apartment.

I HATE to exercise but I LOVE walking. This was a nice 3 mile loop (1.5 miles each way) on a beautiful snowy day.

Keith comes home tomorrow late afternoon!

Email me

Inspection time

I'm getting ready to walk over to the townhouse to meet the inspector. I'm going to take a tape measure with me and check out a few measurements. It's just 1.5 miles so it will be a nice walk over and back and I was hoping it would snow but other than a few flakes when I took Chesty to the park earlier - nothing! Hopefully nothing bad will come up on the inspection - cross your fingers!

I finished the quilting on this donated top from Annie this afternoon. I used Mountain Mist Cream Rose for batting but although it's a very nice batting, I won't be buying another roll. It just doesn't have the same loft as the Hobbs 80/20 and it's more expensive. I like the texture and definition that the 80/20 gives to quilting.

I know it's hard to believe but I don't have a fabric that works for the binding of the top I quilted earlier in the week so I decided to use some leftover binding bits and do a scrappy one. There's a lot of orange in that quilt so I'm thinking about cutting a few strips of orange to throw in but I haven't decided for sure.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I loaded a donated HeartStrings top from Annie this afternoon and am quilting it with a pantograph called Improved Clamshell by Kathie James. This one's not for the faint of heart - you need to be able to quilt both smoothly and accurately but it looks good.

As you can see, I'm still avoiding assembling this top that's been on the design wall since January. It's on this week's list - I hope I can make myself sew these blocks together.

You'd think I wouldn't have but so much mess - we've just been here for 14-15 months but this is my supply closet in my longarm room. I'm in and out of here constantly and as you can see it needs sorting in a bad way.

And just because I realized it's been a long time since I've shared a photo of Chesty, here he is catching some afternoon sunshine. Poor thing, he wasn't thrilled about the move the Minneapolis but I hope this one won't be too traumatic.

I'm taking a break from work now. I'm going to curl up with Chesty and read for a while. It's what I do best when I'm stressed!

Email me

UFO # 12

Although you can't tell in this photo, the sky is blue today with fluffy white clouds. It's still cold but it's beautiful outside.

This is one of the tops I pieced from Chinese Coins sections donated to HeartStrings - it will go to Tennessee for donation. I still have one more Coins top to quilt and more coins to piece into tops.

I plan on loading another quilt this afternoon - so I still have a good chance of getting through my *to do* list for the week.

There's a lot of sorting and packing to do so I expect that to slow me down but I hope to continue to make progress with my quilting over the next few weeks. We'll probably have most of the packing done by the moving company but there's a lot of my quilting stuff that I need to go through and pack myself.

Plus, I'm determined to go through my clothing and donate things I haven't worn in years. I don't know why it's so hard for me to declutter - I brought things here to Minneapolis that I should have donated or disposed of during the move last year. I've gotten a lot of comments and emails from those of you who are going through the *stuff* in your lives and removing excess clutter. If we didn't move so often I'm sure I'd be completely buried. At least I'm forced to sort and donate when we move.

Email me

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

It's official - we're moving

Of course we still have the inspection and the appraisal but I don't expect issues with either. We got the signed Purchase Agreement back today.

I also finished the binding on the Chinese Coins quilt - that's UFO #12 for the year. I'll get a photo of it tomorrow - on the balcony since everyone seems to like those best.

Email me

Monday, February 25, 2008

Quilt donations

Do you remember the tornadoes in the south earlier this month? HeartString members have wanted to send quilts to those affected but we make sure we contact an individual or organization directly to ensure the quilts will go to those in need.

Thanks to Sarah and Pam we have contact information to send quilts.

So on today's agenda will be binding the Chinese Coins quilt on my *to do* list so I can send off two quilts this week.

Although our offer has been accepted on the townhouse, we're still waiting for the signed agreement. I'm going nuts because interest rates are climbing as we sit and wait and we can't lock our rate in until we have the contract.

Email me

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunday Stashbusting report

I was distracted all week with us trying to buy this freaking townhouse so I used NO stash but at least I didn't buy any either.

What did I accomplish? I finished up one donation quilt and shipped it back to Nann.

Email me

One down

This is the 2nd top that was pieced by Sandra from blocks donated by Stashbuster members and given to me to quilt and donate. I loaded it this afternoon after Keith left and just finished the quilting! It's too dark in my studio for another photo but this one was taken as I started.

The pantograph is Wandering Daisies by Sharon Spingler. It's just a tad too wide for my Premier (12.5 inches) but I wanted to use it for this quilt so I just fudged the highest points of the design by quilting inside the lines. It worked well which is great because I really like this pantograph but hadn't used it since I got the smaller machine.

Blog reading

Periodically I delete the majority of my bloglines links out of frustration. I love seeing what everyone is doing but find I spend more and more time on the computer and that of course is less time spent quilting. So last week I deleted most the entries and decided I'd visit blogs from comments left on my blog and go around the blog rings once or twice a month.

Last night as I went around the Stash Quilts blog ring I came across a post on Susan's blog (Feb 16th post) that inspired me to pull a finished quilt to send to American Hero Quilts.

Somehow along the way, I must have clicked on a link for the Quilt Mavericks blog ring and I was on Darcie's blog reading about crochet and decided to pull out my crochet hooks - when I went looking for yarn, I found this magazine and fleece that I'd intended to crochet an edging on - that should be a quick project.

As long as I was packing for shipping, I decided I'll pull all my flannel leftover bits that I'd agreed to send Bob, a HeartStrings member to use on donation quilts. With an upcoming move it will be good to have this crate emptied.

My printer was dying so I bought a new one yesterday (Epson RX595) - not sure I'm crazy about it - it's louder for one thing BUT I do love the scanning features on it. I can scan and save the document as a PDF file - which came in handy when I had to email a couple signed documents yesterday to the realtor. It's also a photo printer - which my other one wasn't. I missed being able to print one or two photos since my small photo printer died a year ago.

Finally, I scanned a image from the above magazine. They had a neat case for crochet hooks that is very much like the crayon rolls that I've seen on several blogs. Deb made a couple for her granddaughters and was going to make Adam one for his drawing pencils - I emailed her the photo hoping she'll make me one too.

Keith left about 30 minutes ago so I'm going to load a quilt on the longarm and get to work.

Email me

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I need a LIST

I haven't done any quilting or piecing since finishing Nann's quilt on Tuesday. I obviously need a new list so I'll get something done this week. Since I'll still have lots of things to do related to buying the townhouse (inspections, getting the mortgage, working to get out of my lease) I won't make it too ambitious and if I don't get it all done I'll be OK with that.

1) Bind the Chinese Coins quilt (it's been waiting a LONG time)
2) Quilt the 2nd top donated by Sandra and Stashbusters
3) Quilt the 2nd HeartStrings top pieced by Annie
4) Assemble the crumb/string/heart quilt (the blocks have been on the design wall for a month)

Wish me luck! Keith will be in Denmark from Sunday - Friday so that will help.

Email me

Friday, February 22, 2008

I forgot to tell you about my latest stupid mistake

I got distracted with all the townhouse stuff but I meant to confess a big mistake I made on Nann's donation top.

Both the top and backing were directional and I laid both out to make sure I had them going in the same direction. I then picked up the backing and added fabric to make it long enough to load on the longarm (Nann had send the fabric along with the top and backing) and manage to load the backing and top in opposite directions and started quilting. I was halfway done with the quilting before I realized my error.

I was so upset but Nann was very gracious when I emailed her pictures of the quilting and backing and explained what I'd done. It's just another reason why I have no desire to quilt for hire - if it had been one of my quilts I would have just said to myself "oh well" and not worried about it.

If you click on the photo you can see that the lighthouse fabric on the back is going in the same direction when it's flipped over like this but if you are holding the quilt up from the back - they're upside down.

We got the townhouse (I think)

Since the paperwork still needs final signatures I'll won't count on it 100% but they're accepting our offer on the 2nd townhouse.

To answer some questions I've gotten.
  • These are townhouses so we don't have anyone above or below us - just to the sides.
  • They're not all that big - just barely under 1800 square feet which is the size of the apartment we're in. Ideally I'd like to have more space but being downtown is VERY important to me as is being in a townhouse NOT a condo.
  • It's 2 bedrooms/ 2.5 bathrooms with a family/bonus room downstairs.

The family room is too small to fit my sewing stuff and the longarm so my quilting things will be split in two rooms like it is here at the apartment BUT they're on separate floors NOT next door so I'll organize things a little differently so I'm not running up and down the stairs every few minutes.

I copied the photos from the online brochure if anyone wants to look at the actual rooms.

Email me

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I'm getting my hopes up again!

They've already come back a couple times with counter offers and we found out this was a corporate relo and the townhouse has been on the market for about 4-5 months. They seem ready to sell. We went back to them once more with an offer just a few thousand below so I'm hoping they accept.

We might have a done deal by tomorrow which would be great because Keith is heading off to Denmark on Sunday.

No sewing today.... lots of cleaning yesterday but no sewing. Tomorrow I need to get back to work.

Email me

We thought things were set but...

We lost out on the first townhouse. The sellers had a contingency offer that was based on another buyer selling their condo so the were going to accept our offer but the buyer had 72 hours to removed the contingency and purchase the property - which they they did. Bummer.

We've already made an offer on the unit next door so we're back to waiting. Cross your fingers that we get this one!

Here's a cool satellite photo of the townhouse community we're trying to buy in. That's the Mississippi River you seen in the photo and Minneapolis has a great set of bike paths and walkways called Grand Rounds that goes all along the river with both state and local parks along the way. Click on the photo for a more detailed view.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

paralyzed - a definition

"to bring to a condition of helpless stoppage, inactivity, or inability to act"

This definition of paralyzed from describes me exactly. I hate waiting. HATE, HATE, HATE it.

I need to be quilting, piecing, and even cleaning but I work a bit and then get distracted again thinking about moving and everything I'll need to get done if we do buy one of these townhouses. I just want to buy or not buy and get back to work.

Of course, I'm doing some long overdue cleaning (thanks to reading Keryn's blog last night night) and have a pile of laundry in process so I'll admit I'm fairly easily distracted. Have I ever mentioned I HATE cleaning and doing laundry, and while I'm listing things I hate - grocery shopping. I can't tell you how often we go out to eat because I haven't made myself go to the grocery store. Guess what's for dinner? Nothing - I've got nothing here I can fix tonight.

Can you hear me whining?

Email me

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Done and ready to ship

I finished quilting Nann's donation top and have it all packed up and ready to ship back to her. If I remember correctly it's going to be used as a fundraiser for the Library.

It looks like we're going to make an offer on the 2nd townhouse tomorrow - the 1st ones have come back twice after our final offer and still haven't accepted it. The realtor thinks they may when they realize that we really do plan to buy the one next door if we don't get our terms. We'll see - I'll update you tomorrow.
I find this all very distracting so I haven't gotten all that much done but even a little progress is good AND I did finish getting our tax stuff ready to ship off to my BIL including making copies of everything.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Still waiting

The sellers tried to come back with another counteroffer on the townhouse but we refused. They can either accept our last offer or on Wednesday we're going to place an offer on the one next door.

Our realtor seems to think there's a good chance they'll's nice to be in the driver's seat for a change but I'll be happy with either one.

I also had a tiny ray of hope on the condo in Georgia. There was a couple in FL that looked at it and liked it but they're going to take a week to decide if they want to make an offer. That's probably too much to hope for but we'll see.

I got more quilting done on Nann's top and started digging through the pile of paper on my desk. Tonight, I have tax stuff to work on - ugh!

Email me

Moving? Maybe

I'm quilting a donation top of Nann's using Popcorn by Willow Leaf Studios. This one looks like clouds to me and I think it suits this top well. I did give Nann the choice of several pantographs.

We've made an offer and a counteroffer on one of the townhouses - we'll see if they accept our 2nd offer but if not, we'll just make an offer on the one right next door. If we end up moving in March you can bet I won't be getting much quilting done. We've only been here 14 months but I am SUCH a pack-rat!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A little quilting

Today we looked at a couple townhouses so I didn't get much quilting done but I did make a start on Nann's quilt. I'll finish it in the next couple days in between working on some other things including trying to get the rest of my tax stuff ready to send off to my BIL.

My stashbusting report is pretty lame this week. With the trip to Georgia, the only thing I finished was the RWB HeartStrings quilt and I only used 3/4 of a yard of my stash to make the backing large enough.

I bought 3 yards of fabric - I decided I needed some kiddie prints for making a few quick donation quilts.

Email me

Friday, February 15, 2008

Heading home

The closing went well and now Chris and Becky own my house. It's odd because I haven't been here in a year but have so many memories of our time here.

I fly home tomorrow and on Sunday, Keith and I are looking at a couple townhouses. We've been watching ones that come up for sale in a particular community downtown and if we find the right one, we'll move earlier than planned.

Email me

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A quiet day

Chris and Becky worked today so I spent most of it reading quietly. Chris got home in the early afternoon so I talked him into taking me to the local quilt shop - Tiny Stitches. I just happened to see Melinda there and had a chance to catch up a little with what was going on with the East Cobb Quilt Guild.

By the way, the ECQG is hosting Bonnie in a couple weeks - too bad that our visits didn't coincide!

Email me

Wondering where I am?

Usually I post a message that says I'm leaving but I guess I missed it this time (although I did mention an upcoming trip to GA).

I'm in Marietta visiting the boys and my DIL and I'll sign the closing papers tomorrow for the Marietta house. It's rather strange to be a guest in my own house and it will be even stranger tomorrow when the kids will actually own it. They've lived here a year and have kept the house looking really nice. They've spent more time *decorating* than I did in the almost 5 years we were here.

Travel time means lots of reading time...check out my bookshelf to see what I've been reading on my Kindle.

Email me

Monday, February 11, 2008

More Beanies and UFO #11

How fun is this? After seeing a donation quilt I had attached a stuffed animal to (from the Pajama Quilter DVD), Norece and her Mom wrote and offered to send me more beanies from TN. Between these and others I received from Dawn and Fran, I'll have plenty to add to donation quilts for at least a couple years!

Here's the finished HeartStrings quilt - it's been bound, labeled, washed, and is packed to send off to Fran who is collecting quilts for a group of soldiers returning from Iraq. This top was pieced by Sue Frank from blocks donated to the HeartStrings Quilt Project. Since it was here waiting for me to finish it at the beginning of the year, it does count as a completed UFO. I'm glad to have one more done!

I know I show lots of HeartString quilts on my blog but I can't tell you how much I love being a part of this group that is making and donating quilts to so many individuals in need, charitable organizations, and those injured or serving in our military.