Three-Day Weekend

Simple Things 090709

I’m so happy to have a three-day weekend. It’s just the best thing. Especially when my Saturdays are always busy, it’s like I’m actually getting a weekend this weekend. I haven’t done a lot of stitching though, which is a shame. But, I’ve been getting some things done around the house. I did get in some good time on my leaves for Simple Things, as you can see. I have to finish with that second, darker green and then the leaves are done. I love what the leaves do to this piece. It’s like with every part I complete of this one, I love it more. Blackbirds are next.

But, you know how sometimes, another project just starts calling your name and you feel like suddenly you need to set aside whatever you’re working on and just go get it? Well, that happened to me yesterday. Eric and I had been working on power cleaning the kitchen yesterday morning. We were talking about some things we’d like to do in there, and I suddenly remembered a piece I’d started for the kitchen. I haven’t worked on it since April of 2008, apparently. But, I pulled it out of the WIP bin and put it on my q-snaps. Last night, while watching Witchblade, I worked on that white block.

Cuisine d'Ete 090709

And, since I’m sure nobody probably remembers this piece, it’s Cuisine d’Ete by Echevette. I’m stitching it with three colors of DMC on 32ct Lemon Zest by Silkweaver. I love this piece so much, and it will look fantastic in my kitchen with my Lemon Meringue Sampler. So, I’ll probably work a bit more on it tonight.

And I had intended to do some cutting and piecing on the baby quilt, but that hasn’t happened this weekend. Next weekend, perhaps.

Fat Quarters

I finally got around to posting some more of my Miami photos here, if you’d like to take a look. And you can see some of the amazing food Eric’s been making this weekend here. Mmmm. Last night we had BBQ, cole slaw, and baked beans. So, so good! That’s one of the best things about holiday weekends – being home for his cooking!

I am grateful for time together.


Thanks so much for the well-wishes for my interview last week. It went well and I was called back for a second interview, which was yesterday. I’m still waiting to hear on that. Thursday night Eric retaught me Algebra, and Friday morning I had my test. I had to take a practice test first to see what level they needed to test me at. They ended up testing me at the advanced level and I passed the test with no problems. So, that’s done. I tell you though, by the end of last week I was SO tired. Friday night Eric told me I needed to be ready to leave the house at 8:15 Saturday morning. He surprised me by taking me to Oklahoma City for the day to see the Chihuly exhibit at the museum there. So fun! I was so excited he planned this day trip! The Oklahoma City museum has the most comprehensive collection of Chihuly’s work in the world (who knew!!), so it was wonderful to see. If you look carefully at the photo above, you can see the piece the museum commissioned in that front window. It stands 55 feet tall and made up of individual blown glass pieces.

Gorgeous, isn’t it?
In the lobby of the museum is also this gorgeous chandelier. They were having story time for some little ones underneath it, so I couldn’t get too close.
The exhibit itself was amazing, it was very dim in there so that the pieces seemed to glow from within. This is the 40-foot-long Persian Ceiling. The exhibit consisted of about 1800 pieces, and every time you turned a corner you were met with something new.
We spent some of the afternoon at the tropical conservatory and then had a wonderful dinner at a local Italian restaurant. We drove home after a full day, gave Romeo his insulin and fell into bed. What a wonderful way to celebrate our anniversary!
In stitching news – though there hasn’t been time for much lately – I started a new project on the drive to OKC. I had a dream about it, and you know how that goes! This is the Peace ornament by Country Cottage Needleworks from the JCS Ornament issue. I didn’t get very far in three hours (stitching in the car is hard!), but I’m glad I started it. I pulled the thread and fabric from my stash (I LOVE being able to do that!).
I moved the L over to the left and started the next motif. I think I’m much happier with it. It visually looks centered now, even though it really isn’t.
I did stitch on Barnabee for Just Nan Sunday. I stitched the watermelon row and got started on the next row of verse. I have some little ants to stitch, then the verse itself. As you can see I am nearing the end of Part 2!
I have many more things to show you next time – including the finished wedding quilt! Stay tuned!!!
I am grateful for a husband who surprises me with a favorite artist.

Only Wednesday

So this week has been a little taxing on me. I am still job searching, and networking (which I can’t say I love), and dealing with the unemployment commission and all that good stuff. I have a job interview set up for tomorrow morning, and I would certainly appreciate any good thoughts you can throw my way for it. Friday morning I have to take a test at the unemployment commission to prove that I have the equivalent of an 8th grade education (because my bachelor’s degree isn’t proof enough). So, four hours of my friday morning will be devoted to that.
And although it may appear that I am getting alot of stuff done, I don’t want to give the impression that being out of work is all fun and games, and that I am just reclining on the couch, stitching and eating bon bons. I spend 7-8 hours a day working – either training, applying for jobs, scouring the classifieds, interviewing (when I’m lucky), networking, meeting with the unemployment people, etc. I am pretty much still just using my evenings and weekends to stitch and do all the other projects I’m working on. I do spend an hour or two a week and work on the quilt during the week, while Eric is gone to work – the rest of the quilt gets done when I can spare a Saturday to go to my mom’s. Frankly, I’m exhausted. And unfortunately, since I spend all day working on the computer, I just don’t have the inclination to stare at the moniter at night too, so I apologize that I am visiting blogs so infrequently. I do try to catch up when I can.
I also appreciate those of you who have checked in and asked about Romeo. He is doing mostly ok. He is so needy for attention with Hamlet gone, and so he spends most of his day in my lap while I’m at the computer. He and Othello have never really been close, so they both come to Eric and I for attention, rather than each other. They both used to get their attention from Hamlet though. I need to call the vet again to discuss his insulin treatment with her. It seems that each time we increase the insulin we’re giving him, his blood sugar evens out and is at a good level for about a week, then he starts to get high blood sugars again. It’s like his body just acclimates to the new dose and then he needs more. I am a little concerned that we won’t ever hit a level that this won’t happen at – a level that continues to be effective. So, mostly he is ok – I think he misses Hamlet, and I don’t think he feels really great when his blood sugars are high. But, I haven’t seen any other problems with him really, so he seems to be ok. We’ll get the insulin under control and he will be his normal happy self, I hope. But thank you all for your continued concern and interest.

As I mentioned, I had my book club on Friday night at the museum. The book we were reading was The Accidental Masterpiece. Throughout the majority of this read, I was really disinterested in it. It is a series of essays about life and art, and in some cases, why artists create. There were a few stories that stuck with me though, and as I read the last two essays, the book sort of came together for me and melded. I came away from it with a vastly different opinion than I had during the first half of the book. I think it also helps to discuss with a group of people, it helps you to see things differently, or to clarify your own opinions. One of the essays deals with earth works, and the whole idea of pilgrimage to see works of art in the places where they were intended to be seen. Two pieces, for example, are Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (above), or de Maria’s Lightning Field (below). He talks a lot about the ability of art to make you pay attention to things, either your environment, or day to day objects, etc. I found it very interesting. And strangely enough, the book tied right in with my class Monday night in which we talked about being present and fully aware of each moment. A lot to think about.
And of course, I also mentioned that we went to the museum on Sunday to see the Picturing the Bible exhibit, which was early Christian art. There were some really beautiful pieces there, including the piece below. This cross is a reliquary (an object intended to house a holy relic), in this case it houses pieces of the true cross. What I did not know, and learned at the exhibit, is that when reliquaries travel and leave the Vatican, the relic is covered. So, the little part of this cross that you can see the piece of the actual cross through, was covered with a little piece of black fabric. I had no idea of this practice. The exhibit also featured some photographs of some of the catacombs in Rome – unfortunately Eric and I missed seeing this in person while we were there. All in all, an excellent exhibit. The next exhibit is Impressionist paintings, and I think that begins in June or July.

Since we went to the exhibit on Sunday, I wasn’t able to get around to my Barnabee stitching this week. I hope to get back to him next Sunday though, I am enjoying stitching on him. I did however stitch a little bit on my Cuisine d’Ete last night. I am not happy with how the L looks. It is six stitches across, but the space it is stitched in does not have an even number of stitches across, so it gives me three stitches on one side of the L and four on the other. It just looks off-center to me, so I may rip it out and make it one stitch closer to the left side, which may visually make it look a little more balanced. I am so picky! LOL! I do like how the colors are working together though on the yellow fabric.
I also finished up my quilt top. I sewed the last two rows on, and now all I have to do is quilt it and put the binding and label on it. I am planning on going to my mom’s on Saturday, so hopefully I can make a big dent in that and just have a little bit left to finish when I leave there.
Here’s a closer view so you can see some of the detail. I love how it’s turning out!
And since it is now April, I need to recap my March goals and see how I did:
Stitch March Red Thread block and start on border done!
Finish Wedding Quilt top done – just needs quilting and binding!
Stitch on Mermaids for SAL with Anna yes!
Finish Katrina’s RR & mail, start on Carol’s finished Katrina’s and mailed, haven’t started Carol’s
Finish Barbara’s prize and mail finished the stitching, just need to put it together
Stitch on Cuisine d’Ete yes!
Stitch at least one ornament no, haven’t gotten back to my ornament at all
Read book for book club yes!

And my goals for April:
Finish wedding quilt for anniversary
Start new job
Binding & label on $5 quilt
Label for Pigwidgeon
Mail Barbara’s Gift
Carol’s RR
Stitch 2 ornaments
Keep up with SALs: Red Thread, Barnabee, Mermaids
Make Shepherd’s Bush wallhanging
Stitch on Mystery 9 – Finish Artichokes
Stitch one motif on Cuisine d’ete
Let’s see how I do! Oh, and I’ve been able to cross a few more things off my 101 Things list. I did several things from January through March, so that allowed me to cross off several of the “do ____ for three months”. And, in similar news, I completed the Walk to Rivendell. 458 miles! It took a little over a year, but I am proud of myself for completing it.
Until next time!
Walk to Rivendell: Cross a small stream. Rest stop. Rest stop. Camp where road bends right to run down slope toward the River Bruinen. Leave early morning, hobbling along (ca. 7 a.m.). Road running downhill. Much grass on sides. Road plunges through a cutting of red stone with tall pines. Glorfindel says “Run!” Hobbits are halfway across grassy flat when Nazgul burst through behind them. Attack at the Ford (ca. noon). Glorfindel’s horse carries Frodo across Ford. Nazgul drown. Frodo falls. Company meets Elves sent from Rivendell (est. 2 p.m.). They take Frodo ahead. Rest of company follows on foot. Come to the sudden cliff into the valley of Rivendell. Frodo reaches Rivendell carried by the Elves (est. 4 p.m.). Others arrive in evening. (Total Miles Walked: 458 miles – finished!)
I am grateful for an unexpectedly good book.

Out Like a Lamb

Red Thread: Fly a Kite
Bent Creek
Weeks & GAST on 32ct Light Mocha
Finished 3/25/08

So many things to show you, since I wasn’t able to post earlier in the week like I had hoped to! As you can see, I finished off my March block for the Red Thread SAL. This was a fun little block. I am so glad to be caught up on this and have it going so smoothly!

I also made a little start on the border. I need to go pick up some more Bark thread, because I am just about out. I really enjoy stitching on this piece, and I am finding it a little hard to put down.

I did pick up my Cuisine d’Ete again and stitch on it a little bit more the past couple of nights. I have had such a hard time with the second motif. I must have ripped the white outline out twice before I got it right. But, I am still loving it on the Lemon Zest linen.

I have, of course, also been working on the wedding quilt. Here you can see I’ve sewn on all the top rows. I actually have two more bottom rows sewn on than you see in this photo. So, two more rows are all I’m lacking, and then I can begin quilting. I have just a little over one week. Wish me luck – I think it’s going to be down to the wire!

Eric and I are going to the museum today to see their latest exhibit before it closes. The exhibit is early Christian art, and I am looking forward to it. I’ll let you know how it is. I also went to my book club Friday night, but haven’t quite finished my book yet – I’m almost there.

Until next time – enjoy each moment, and have fun with your stitching!

I am grateful for a new friend.

Plan B

It seems like I’m having to fall back to Plan B on a lot of things lately, which is kind of weird. It feels good to be back on track with my Red Thread SAL now that I’ve restarted on my new fabric and caught up with my two blocks I needed to stitch. As you can see, I have also restarted my Neighborhood Round Robin on the new piece of fabric. The new fabric is 35ct Brandy (Kiwi Antiques) by Countrystitch and is very close to the color of my original fabric. I was able to keep basically my same layout as I previously had with the houses scattered along the road that I will stitch in later. I didn’t go ahead and re-stitch my block because I wanted to get my piece out to Judith as quickly as possible, because she will have a short turnaround on this one. I mailed this off to her yesterday and I hope that this time my piece comes home safe and sound. I can’t thank the ladies in Group 3 enough for their willingness to revamp the schedule and stitch double-time in some cases in order to get mine and Katrina’s pieces back into the mix. I am still hopeful that my original piece will still be returned by Lauren, but I’m not holding my breath.

The kindness of others is definitely restoring my faith in people. KarenV was a sweetheart and sent the Salem Remembered chart to me. This has been on my wishlist and I am so grateful to have it! Thank you, Karen, so much!!! It really brightened up my day.

I have been a bit naughty though, and have started a couple of new things. One, I can’t show you – it’s for Barbara (don’t give up hope on my Barbara – I haven’t forgotten you!!). So, you’ll just have to wait to see that one. I also started Cuisine d’Ete by Echevette, just because I couldn’t help myself. I’m stitching it on 32ct Lemon Zest by Silkweaver. I wanted it to go in my kitchen, and I love how the red, green and white look on the yellow. It’s a fun little stitch.

And finally, another fallback to Plan B. Reality has set in and I’ve realized that there’s no way I will be able to get Tesori finished and framed in time for our anniversary. So, in order to continue to stitck with the second anniversary theme of cotton, I’ve decided to try to make our wedding quilt to give to Eric. I had been holding off on starting it until I had my new machine and I got a few other things finished. Well, I have my new machine, and although I have only finished one thing (Pigwidgeon), I’m still going ahead and starting the quilt. I went to my mom’s on Saturday and we made pretty good progress. I used to go to my mom’s all the time to quilt and sew together, and I realized how much I’ve missed it. That is a design of what the quilt will look like when it’s finished (above).

At our wedding, instead of having people sign a guest book, we had them sign quilt squares. The signature blocks will be incorporated into the quilt pattern (the white squares). In preparation for the wedding, I basted the seam allowance on all the signature blocks so that people would sign inside the lines.

On Saturday, my mom pulled out all the basting on those blocks while I started piecing the red and white four-patch blocks and the red and polka dot four-patch blocks. I got half of them done, but managed to get the other half done yesterday. I also cut out my larger blocks from the polka dot and tulip fabrics. So, now everything is cut, I just have to start laying it out and piecing the top together. The signature blocks are 4 1/2 inch blocks (4 inch finished), and the little four-patches are made from 2 1/2 inch (2 inch finished) blocks. The whole quilt will measure something like 64 by 96 inches without a border. I haven’t decided if I want to put a border on it or not. Those four white blocks in the very center of the quilt are actually going to be one solid piece of white fabric and I will embroider our names and our wedding date on it. I love love love how the fabrics are looking together, they are so bright and cheery. I just love red and white quilts. I have another one in mind I want to make in the future, and I may just have a collection of red and white quilts.

So, that’s what I’m up to right now. I will still finish Tesori – maybe for Eric’s birthday or Christmas. I know he will love it, I just can’t get it finished in time for our anniversary this year.

Until next time…keep stitching!

I am grateful for KarenV’s generosity and starting on my wedding quilt.