Saturday, January 31, 2009

Souper Saturday My Little Dumplin'

I know - you're saying "What? She's cooking a poultry soup again?"

Yes I am... but hey I'm still sick... well OK I am feeling a little better but not enough to spend a lot of time cooking... and chicken soup still sounds good.

But I'm going to change it up by making Chicken & Dumplings!

ChicknDumplins 004

So to get started... I threw all this in the pot... a whole chicken breast, large hunks of celery and carrots, dehydrated onion and garlic - yep still no fresh onions - what can I say... I'm not going to the store just for onions.  After the chicken breast has cooked I'll debone  it and throw out those carrots and celery and put fresh chopped ones in.  I've found that if I'm going to cook for a long time the veggies get tasteless - so these will help flavor the soup and the new ones will be tasty too.

ChicknDumplins 003

Now tell me... what is the point of looking through the leaves in the Bay Leaf container for a whole one?  I laughed when I realized I was trying to only find whole ones... a broken one would be just fine for flavor. 

I'll add to this post later when I finish but wanted to get this started... now to go sew.

Later Saturday afternoon:  After cooking for awhile I pulled the meat off the bones and added seasonings and let it simmer for awhile whilst I cleaned the kitchen.  I also put in some smoked sausage... because I like smoked sausage with chicken - you could leave it out.

Then I mixed up the dumplings according to the Bisquick recipe.


2 cups mix, 2/3 cup milk, mix and drop by spoonfuls into the boiling soup...


Simmer 10 minutes with the lid off - then 10 more minutes with the lid on.


Enjoy one or two bowls.... Mmmm mmmm mm!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Yuck! and other thoughts...

I'm not even enjoying my coffee this morning... so I guess that would make it official... I am sick.  Not terribly sick - but sick none the less.

I remember a couple years ago when my daughter and granddaughter were living with me in MA.  We all got sick... several days apart - starting with the Mom, then Auntie TeTe, then Miss K, and finally Granny.  Everyone followed the example of Mom with high fever constantly for 5 days - it would hover about 101 if you had an ample supply of fever reducer on board... but let that laps and you were easily up to 105.  Not where I like to keep my brains for sure.  Needless to say we finally figured out and put everyone on an alternating 4 hour routine of advil and tylenol - so that you were getting something every 2 hours thereby lessening the spike in fever.  Besides the high fever, you got a very raspy voice, a bit of a chest congestion and cough, and Sweating so bad that it made you change your clothes several times a day.  Everyone was sick as a dog for 5 solid days and then began feeling better over several more... since we all staggered our illness by the time Miss K got sick her Mom was feeling better and was back at school.  I laugh every time I think of that little sweetie waking up from a nap and trying to talk.  The raspiness had settled in her throat... and at 2 something she didn't understand.  "Te Te!" she said to her Auntie... "Som thins rong wif my maouf!?"  (something's wrong with my mouth) Gosh she was so cute... and so sick... I felt terrible for her... and we all knew by then just what she would be going through over the next 5 days.  Of course by the time she was starting to feel better Granny got sick... I have never, ever, EVER in my whole life been that out of it.  And by then my 2 daughters were better and back to work and school... so there was nobody to take care of me... or Miss K that first day I was sick.  So I just locked us in the living room with sippy cups for her and I and lots of snacks and toys and my tylenol and advil.  I did get the next couple days off from babysitting... LOL

Since this coffee doesn't taste any good I'm going to try a cup of tea and go do some sewing...

I did get a nap yesterday afternoon, I cleaned the kitchen in the evening, I also put in a load of laundry... and I did sleep better last night.

I've got chicken and smoked sausage thawing out... haven't decided if it will be cooked up to go over some pasta or rice - or if I'll make another pot of soup... I'm leaning towards the soup - oooo I have an idea...  mmmmm, yeah that's it!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

2 Something... 3 Something... 4 Something...

Followed by...

5 something, and 6 something... at which point - I just got UP!

Goodness... I must have slept very well between 10 something and that 2 something when I started waking up every hour -  every stinking hour.

No reason... not dreaming... not hot... no noises... just awake.

I feel like my body is thinking about getting sick... started yesterday when I was outside running the snow blower.  Granted I feel achy but I think that's just from wrestling with the snow blower and the little bit of shovel work I did... man that stuff was heavy!

But I've got a tickle way down my throat... you know - makes your voice sound sexy - but you aren't.  It is a sign I recognize as not a good sign.  So I hauled out the echinacea pills this morning and we'll see if that works again for me.  I'll have to see if I still have some echinacea tea... not only is it good but it's help me fend off a few colds over the years.

I dropped off the 2 class sample quilt tops at the shop this morning so my errands are done.  So maybe I'll go take a nap work on that 4 Patch Stacked Posie quilt top.... or I could go take a nap watch some of those shows I've recorded and not sat down to watch... maybe I should go take a nap practice knitting for my class next week... I really could take a nap clean the kitchen or take a nap do some laundry.  I could always take a nap unpack some other boxes or take a nap arrange the linens.

But what I really want to do is take a nap... TAKE A NAP!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pook, Pook, Pook...

I want to know why this needle wasn't saying Pook, pook, POOK?

Dust 010

This is the needle (a Microtex Sharp by the way) that was in the machine when I set it up a couple weeks ago.  Since I haven't been sewing much at all the past year and a half - I can't remember when I put it in...

Maybe it was the summer of 2007 when I worked on this for the quilt shop in Mass... (in the midst's of packing and painting to move)

Focus on Florals 001

or the Hunters Star I worked on as a store sample as we moved from Maryland to PA in Dec. 07...

it might have been back at the apartment the spring of 2008 when I worked on this for a 10 FQ Challenge.  10FQ Challenge quilt 004 (Small)I'll tell y'all about the challenge another day.

OK back to the '''Point''' at hand...

Since I started sewing again this month I've sewn all of this Maple Island BQ2 top...

BQ2 008 (Small)

and I worked on these for the Quilt in a Day Tossed 9 Patch...

tossed 9 patch 003

After finishing these 9 patches I decided to clean the dust out of the machine... which is a sad tale I'll also tell another day.

But this is what the needle looked like when I took it out.Dust 011

Look at it... it's clearly bent... I didn't even need my glasses to see the bend in it!  I was completely surprised because it had made not a peep or a pook as a bent needle should.  Nope... quiet as a mouse...

I might have to frame it...

So... when did you change your needle last?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Week 4 Stash Report...

I am quilty - ummm I mean guilty again this week... but it's a wash with in and out for a couple class projects.  After some pondering and input from others I've decided I'll be tracking what I'm working on for class projects since they are items I keep in the end.


It's been a productive week as well - nice thing about quick and easy projects... they are - quick and easy!

BQ2 009


This Maple Island Quilts 'BQ2' came together really fast... it's a nice way to use that large print fabric you have but haven't wanted to cut into small pieces.  This way you can just cut it into BIG pieces!


BQ2 008 

The Eleanor Burns Tossed Nine Patch is almost done.  I have to join the 12 blocks together and add the borders.  I'll take another look at these blocks tomorrow and probably do some more turning and moving... but in the end no matter how hard you try you'll end up with the same fabric next to each other.  I'm not going to make myself any crazier than I am already...

tossed 9 patch 005

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Souper Saturday...

This weekend brings us Re-runs...

I posted back after Thanksgiving about cooking up the turkey carcass and using up the leftover herbs - Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme...

The re-runs this week used the carcass from Christmas which has been waiting in my freezer.  I cooked up the carcass in a nice bath of soup base and then picked the meat off and discarded the bones.

I didn't have any fresh herbs... they died sometime over the past month in the vegetable bin... I know - I should have cooked this up sooner.  So I used what dried herbs I had - which consisted of ground thyme, parsley flakes, dehydrated minced garlic, and poultry seasoning.  And my onions seem to have died too... so I used dehydrated.  I did have fresh carrots and celery to throw in the pot.

I cut up a smoked sausage and threw it in during the last hour of cooking to boost the flavor.

Last time I lamented that I didn't have any pictures because:

  1. I hadn't found the cord to my old camera.  --- I have found and use it often since then - but the batteries are dead right now.
  2. We couldn't find our new camera and were afraid it was lost or stolen.  --- Well it wasn't either - it was misplaced by The Engineer.  It was left in his nephews rental car when they visited in Oct.  They found it when they turned the car in but forgot to mail it back when they returned home.  We received it just before Christmas with a nice apology for not being more timely and a disk of pictures they took with their camera while visiting.  I have that but it's on the 3rd floor and I'm not running up there to get it... I'm just plain lazy right now... sorry!

The Engineer thought it was wonderful... we each had two bowls over rice.  Which just proves it doesn't have to be fancy to be flavorful.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

4 Patch Stacked Posies and more...

I'm going to be a busy bee over this next week.

I've decided that I'll be teaching a 4 Patch Stacked Posie class - although I've got a couple of finished tops I have 2 started in alternate settings that I'd like to finish as samples for the shop.  Even though I've taught this class over and over and over again it just doesn't get old.  Everyone uses different fabric - it's always new and fun because every finished quilt is different.  Check out the slide show over in my side bar or look at my Webshots album.  There are photos there of mine, friends, family and students quilts.

I'll be making Eleanor Burns Tossed Nine Patch out of these...

New Class 004

I'll be using these for Maple Island's BQ2...

BQ2 002


I think it will be pretty and a nice way to highlight those large prints you don't want to cut all to pieces.



And now that I have replaced my warped Very Favorite Ruler in the Whole Wide World... I'm ready to get busy.

warped ruler-NOT 004

The Question...

Do you like flavored creamer?


OK... so you're wondering how would I get coffee creamer all over my kitchen?

No I didn't spit my coffee out laughing... there was no laughing going on...

No I didn't trip over a dog - that's a real possibility but I'm very good at dancing around sleeping dogs...

And trust me when I say I got it all over the kitchen - from one wall to the next and everything in between.

I wanted to add a splash of creamer to my freshened up cup of coffee... so I opened one side of my fridge - grabbed my flavored creamer... and shook it... only once back and forth... but that was sufficient to send the creamer through the unsealed cap in a wide arc.

I hit the wall, trash can and pantry door on one wall... the cabinet and sink on the other wall... the floor between those two... and lets not forget I was standing there with the door to the fridge open - so of course it was all inside the door.

A picture would have been good... but that didn't occur to me until after I had it all cleaned up.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Is This The Beginning of A New World...


If we as a nation can come together and continue to put issues such as race behind us... can we also inspire other nations to put their differences aside and work together to make a better life for their people?

Can we? 

I sure hope so...


Bad Start 002

Do you suppose this means it's going to be a long day?

How hard can it be to open a package of gum...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Week 3 - Stash Busting Report

My used report this week covers my quarter inch seam problem with sewing the 9 patch units... I had to completely re-cut both light and pink strips.  I also went and picked up yardage for the borders for the Double Delight top - a little more of each because I know that there isn't a border I can't screw up...  so it pays to be prepared.


I haven't decided how to handle the fabric I'll be getting for the classes I'll be teaching... I'll figure it out this week - but I have to tell you I'm looking forward to cutting into those and getting started.

And to prove that ORDER really can come out of CHAOS... here is what evolved out of my sewing the last section onto those scrappy 9 patch units...

order 002

kinda pretty isn't it...

order 004

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Souper Saturday...

I am going to try and make a different soup or stew each week through what remains of winter and spring.  Since I'll probably make it on Friday or Saturday I figured a post called Souper Saturday was good. 

I look forward to enjoying a pot of warm yummy goodness over the weekend and before we get too tired of it I'll freeze individual portions to enjoy in the future for my lunches when I dine alone.

Because it was so Chilly Friday.... I decided to make Chili Friday!

I know that was bad...  but this was good...

Chili 004

So here's what went into the pot

  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 package ground turkey (approx 1.5 lbs)
  • 2 cans of black beans drained
  • l can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 sm. can of tomato sauce
  • minced garlic
  • 1 tblsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • fresh basil chopped
  • crushed red pepper
  • salt to taste

I wish I'd had some Cumin... but sadly no... it will need to be something I look for next time I'm poking through seasonings at Sauders.  Yes Sauders Fabrics is also a dry-goods store for the local Amish, Mennonite, and other neighbors. But it's way too chilly outside to go shopping for something for my chili...  I know that was bad too!

But the chili was good... with a heap of cheddar cheese, a hunk of cornbread and a beer!

There was only one person in this household who enjoyed the Chilly on Friday... this picture taken from the warmth of the kitchen through the window.  Silly dog laying on the flagstone when there's a cozy mat right there... she was sure enjoying the sunshine.

Cold Dog 003

Friday, January 16, 2009

My Public Service Today...

I saw the trash truck go by this morning... this way beyond freezing hiney cold morning.  (Certainly not as cold as some areas... but cold none the less for us)

So as a public service today - I did not put my recycle bin out.  If I had then they would have had to stop, get off the back of the truck (why do they ride back there in the winter? Oooooo the wind chill) and empty my barely half full container. 

So as a public service... and because I'm a wienie of the highest order when it's cold outside... I'm going to just let it go another week... or two... or at least until closer to being full.

Now I've got to figure out how to get my mail without going outside... hmmmm?? I know... The Engineer is going to be back tonight from a trip - he can get the mail when he gets home.

Oh and remember his luggage... it was found and delivered to his hotel and he was able to change at lunch - nice and spiffy like everyone else.  It's been in the 80's in CA... what a shock it's gonna be when he gets home!  Brrrrrrr!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Quarter ain't a Quarter all the time...

And as a quilter I know this... a quarter inch seam is usually a scant quarter and even that isn't cast in thread.

There are lots of things that effect that scant quarter - and those are the things I wasn't taking into consideration yesterday when I sat down to sew the nine patch units for Double Delight.  My biggest mistake was not sewing and CHECKING a complete unit.  I was so happy to just be at the machine... I was just sewing, and sewing, and sewing!  Then I measured... uuugh!  Then I cut new strips... tested and sewed and measured again and then sewed a complete strip set to measure.

On the left is what I made a bunch of... on the right is the correct size...  yeah - there just isn't any way to stretch out that nearly 1/4" of missing width.

Double Delight oops 004

My modern machine has the ability to move the needle sideways - I usually have it set to the right at 3.0 to achieve a scant quarter.  That is what I used to sew all these strips... which I'll set aside to use for something else.

Double Delight oops 007

Double Delight oops 013So how'd I screw this up so nicely?  Many of the fabrics I'm using have some heft to them (both in weight or sizing) AND the thread I was using is a bit thicker (a coats & clark 100% cotton - I usually use an Aurfil for piecing)... both factors that play into your seam allowance... and if you have multiple seams that are off just a tiny bit - they add up to a big difference. 

I need to set my needle at 5.5 to the right to get my strip set to equal 3.5" 


I dreamed about this all night long... a lesson I won't soon forget.

I Feel Like a Quilter Again...

And ooooh it feels good!

Those of you who know me in '3D' know that I love picking out fabric.  And you know that because I've maybe helped you pick out some fabric - you know I love to be helpful... and that's the best kind of picking out because I get to have all the fun and not pay at the end!

So the second best kind of picking out would be for a new project... and that's what I did yesterday.  Remember I said I had to go out in the freezing hiney cold for errands... the quilt shop was one of those stops.

So what do you think?  Light print at the right is the border with inner border next to it... FQ's are all for the blocks.  It's hard to get the colors to really pop out... but these are yummy... very yummy!New Class 004

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Day...

Here is a snapshot of my day...

My Day 001

Let's look at it...

  • start with the brown coffee mug on the left... it's full - it's from yesterday - it was up in my studio next to my sewing machine that still has blocks sitting and waiting for me to return - with the light on... all night.
  • my computer with Electric Quilt - I needed to work on something but after starting it I remembered I didn't scan the fabrics last night.
  • the green coffee mug - today's coffee empty (well I just refilled it but you can't see that)
  • a bag with yarn and a pattern for the sock class I'm taking next week - picked up on Monday - still sitting on the table
  • my purse and gloves - because I need to go out in the freezing hiney cold in a little while and get some errands done so that I won't have to go out tomorrow in the more than freezing hiney cold (by the way do you know that my spell check doesn't think hiney is a word - it suggested whiney which I guess would work as well for me today...)
  • a list of possible classes to teach at the shop - a couple patterns I'm considering and a quilt mag I'd love to read
  • my phone and the business card for a (new to us) local vet - whom I spent an hour and a half with last night - which by my math means I paid $200 an hour... yes for the time and all the tests and an 11 day supply of antibiotics for one of My Girls

And look what The Engineer made me do last night after I got home from the vet... after I ordered and ate pizza at 8:00 PM... when I was ready to go back to what I wanted to do...

My Day 002

The 4 boxes of family pictures that I haven't hadn't unpacked yet... the 4 boxes of pictures I stuck behind the file cabinet... the 4 boxes that were stacked up with other stuff... yeah those 4 boxes - I had to unpack because he needed me to scan some pictures for him.

This is why there are still strips hanging down from my sewing machine and my list of classes isn't complete and I haven't scanned my fabric...

My Girl 1 002 And here's my girl - she's embarrassed about costing me so much money... again!


My Girl 1 004

Exactly How I Feel Sometimes...

Keao at Stone House 087

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Today's Plan...

well but first a confession about yesterday.

I didn't get any sewing done yesterday despite my best efforts save for a 'lost block' that I quickly whipped up when I found a wayward center block piece while cleaning.  'Splains the odd leftover pieces I had the other day.  And here I thought I just didn't know how to count...

I've got 24 reasons for not sewing last night.  Well - actually 24 is my reason for not sewing.  I'm going to have get the cable hooked up for the studio...

I did however accomplish floor space yesterday! 

studio 001 

studio 002

There is still lots to do.  Boxes to sort through - quilting supplies, quilt tops, linens, craft stuff, family pictures, personal keepsakes.  I'll tackle those a few at a time over the next several weeks.  But I have some sewing space, my ironing table in place, my computer station and file cabinet set in place.

Today I AM SEWING... really right after my shower!  See Ya!

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Path to My Sewing Machine...

seems to be a long one.

I wasn't successful in sewing on Sunday - but I did get some boxes moved into the attic store room, several other boxes unpacked - which made it necessary to go up and down the stairs several many way too many times to put stuff away.  Then I stopped to watch the Philly game, and the Pittsburg game... and 24... and by then it was too late and I headed to bed.

Today... I've fed the dogs; showered; cleaned my kitchen; met with a plumber; scanned and emailed important documents; had my coffee and cereal (finally); cut up and threw out 4 empty boxes; threw out 2 boxes full of crap I can't believe I packed and moved; moved my computer table into place in my studio; moved the file cabinet and unpacked the files and filled it; put the hangers up for a bulletin board; went up and down the stairs to the third floor a gazillion times; unpacked my cookbooks (yep they were on the 3rd floor - four trips for those) - re-configured the cabinet they will go in; ran to the post office, Sauders Fabrics (yes - I know but I needed border fabric for Bonnie Hunters Double Delight!), the Yarn Shop to get supplies for a sock class I'm taking next week (like I needed another thing to do), then I had lunch at 4:00 pm.  I've fed the dogs - again... and now I'm waiting for them to go in and out... and in and out... and when they are done I'm locking the dog door and...

I'm headed up to my studio... I should be able to shove a couple things around and get my sewing table, ironing surface and cutting table into place... and then, THEN I'm going to sew...

Casual Dress Monday!

It's official... even though the event you are attending says the first day is 'suit and tie' with casual dress the remaining days...

The airline can supersede that decree and declare the first day as "Casual Dress Day"... as in wear what you traveled in all day the day before...

Did you know they can take your carry on bag at the gate and apparently not give it back?

And to think - he didn't check his bag because he wanted to make sure it got where he was going... LOL 

Sunday, January 11, 2009

To Buy or Not to Buy...

Oh Geez you know I bought it last Monday...

Thus far this year I'm 32 1/4 yards added inside of 3 days... which covered both the first and second weeks. 

Since I didn't report on Week #1 - I'll report both and I've deducted what I pulled and cut for the project I am working on.  I will need to go and get border fabric next week... but that should be a wash both in and out.

I haven't set up a spreadsheet... so this table will do for now but I am interested in trying to track what's coming in and out.  In the time that I haven't been sewing I've been accumulating and I'll need to get a handle on that. 

Week #1  Added


Week #2  Added


Week #2    Used





The really exciting part of this is that I'm actually back to sewing and it feels sooo good!

Other great quilty things are in the works for me too...

Waaaa Hooooo! Back to Teaching!

Those of you who 'know me' in the 3D world know that I don't get all jumpy, arms flapping, twirling around kind of happy.  I'm fairly low key and easy going... a big grin goes a long way with a happy heart.

But I was definitely doing a Happy Dance last week when I got an email that said in part....

"I would love to have you teach at the shop... snip ...  Please consider what classes you might want to teach and when.... snip ... If your schedule is not too busy and you feel up to teaching 2 or more classes, that is great!"

Um - did I say Waaaa Hooooo!  Oh... OK I won't do that again!  LOL

I have to tell you that I had really thought my quilt shop teaching days were at an end when I moved here to Lancaster Co.  Most of the shops here are 'fabric' shops... and great ones at that with their wide variety and great prices - but they don't have classes.  I figured I was just going to have to be happy inviting my quilty friends to come visit.

Shortly after moving into the Stone House I cut an ad out of the local shopping newspaper.  It was for a Quilt Shop that I hadn't heard of before located in the center of the closest 'little/big' town.  That ad sat on the front of my fridge for a couple months... I had no time to sew and figured there wasn't any need in tormenting myself.

Later in the summer I stopped in while waiting for my MIL to finish her therapy appointment and was happy to find a real quilt shop... you know with samples hanging and, and, and.... A LARGE CLASSROOM!

The owner was very friendly and came to chat as I was looking around.  It didn't take me toooo long to work into the conversation that I was new to the area, busy working on fixing up an old stone house we bought, and that the only thing I missed in MA was my job working at a quilt shop.  Her response was "Oh did you teach too?" 

She was interested in finding new teachers and wanted to see some of my work.  Two days later I drug in a bunch of stuff I'd used as teaching samples at my old shop.  I was happy when she said she'd be in touch after the holidays when she was putting her Spring class list together.  Then I came home - put all my quilts away and went back to painting... you remember the painting... and I got sauced too...

The holidays are now over, the canning has come to an end, the painting is on hold for the time being... most importantly - I'm back to sewing.  And then the email came...

So on Friday I went in to talk with her about the new class schedule... and what she might want.  End result is that I can pretty much teach what ever I want when ever I want... pretty cool Huh?

And now I need to figure out what to teach... and get some samples made... Waaaa Hoooo!  Oh sorry about that - it slipped out!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

January Quiltathon...

I decided to try and participate in Judy's Quiltathon's this year when I can.  So here goes...

I did make some progress today - not as much as I would have liked but it is what it is...

I am working on Bonnie Hunters Double Delight... The advantage of starting late is that I got all my 'pieces parts' cut out for all the sections.  At the end of Saturday I've got all of the section 1 blocks sewn and pressed and some of them trimmed down to size.  Sunday I'll take a break from those and sew some of the 9 patch strips from section 3 and then go back to the blocks in section 2.

Sunday I'm going to try and get a bunch of stuff sewn and then spend my time pressing and trimming and watching a movie.  I've set my laptop up and can watch an "Instant Movie" from Netflix - but since I can't hear as well while I'm sewing - I'll watch while I'm pressing and trimming. 

Leftovers are on the menu for Sunday so after breakfast I'm just heating stuff up... no more cooking!

double delight 002

I counted and I've only got 23 trimmed out... another 97 to trim in that stack.

Friday, January 9, 2009

He looks like his Granny...


He has my thighs...


and my wide feet too!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Enough Already!

See these guys...


I have found 3 of them today... just TODAY...

We usually find 3 or 4 every week - some are dead but most are alive - just really cold and motionless - usually laying on their backs.  I scooted one onto my hand one day so that I could toss him in the toilet and as he warmed up he started moving.  He Went Swimming.  Warm sunny days seems to bring them out and about.

This is the kind of bug that I felt really sorry about killing back earlier in the summer... such a drama he put on.  Well my sympathy is fairly thin these days... they go in the toilet or out the door - good riddance.

In my research this is what I've found...

"The brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys, is a fairly new species imported from the Far East (e.g., Taiwan, Japan, Korea) which was first discovered in Allentown, Pa., in 2001. It has subsequently been found in New Jersey. It is an ornamental and agricultural pest, which like some stink bug species, find homes and buildings an attractive place to overwinter. Seeing stink bugs inside on warm winter days is not uncommon. As this species begins to spread, its prominence as an overwintering structural pest will increase."

I usually refer to them as dinosaur bugs... they are clumsy and dumb and slow.... and annoying as all get out.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Blast off in 3, 2,...

1!  Yeah! I've got all the fabric cut out and organized.  There are lots of pieces here... LOL

double delight ready

I'm ready to start sewing... but I'll tell you it wasn't easy to get to this point.

Look at my very favorite strip cutting ruler type thing in the whole wide world...

warped ruler 001

warped ruler 007

Mmmm yep - it's not my picture taking skills - that ruler is warped.  I can't tell you how careful I was about not letting my sewing stuff get packed into the PODS when we moved... apparently I missed the container my 3 Shape Cut rulers were packed in.  It probably wouldn't have been so bad but those PODS were packed top to bottom with nary a space - and whatever was put on top of this container squashed the heck out of it.  I still used it as it isn't too terrible at the front end - but was too wavy and warped past the 10" mark to be really reliable to cut there.  The original shorter one is toast - completely warped and the even smaller Quarter Cut I don't think is useable but I almost never used it anyway.  They can't be salvaged as it appears heat was involved in their demise - do  you suppose it was the 90 degree weather we had the week we had them delivered here??  LOL

I looked at Joanns the other day but they don't have this FQ size one that I love the most... only the shorter one.  I hate the thought of paying full price... maybe I'll look online and see what I come up with.  I really love this ruler.

OK I'm off to sew!  See Ya!

Monday, January 5, 2009

I have failed before I started...

I just don't know what to say... I started out with the best of intentions.

I have watched over the past year as Judy L from Patchwork Times has encouraged folks to track their stash usage and purchases and report on it weekly... or whenever.

With our move and my fabric being packed up I didn't join last year.  Although I wasn't sewing it didn't keep me from acquiring fabric last year.  Since I wasn't able to put it away properly I kept shoving it into any plastic drawer that would hold it.  Needless to say my drawers are a mishmash of fabric which makes looking for something hard... what you see in the front is not what the drawer is full of.

So this year I thought I'd give the Stash Busting a go and could count and organize what I have as I unpack. 

Then I saw Bonnie Hunters Double Delight... and I gave in. 

I've always loved scrappy quilts and I've been intrigued by her system so I decided to get a handle on my scraps and to get set up to take better advantage of them.

In gathering fabrics for this DD project I realized I didn't have much variety or quantity of the lights, or the blue... or pinks... and I already went and bought the cheddar and brown.  So today was a road trip... down Rt. 340 in Lancaster Co. and into 4 shops.

So between Sylvia Petersheim's, Log Cabin Quilt Shop, The Quilt & Fabric Shack, and Zooks... I have 29 3/4 yards to add to my report for next Sunday... add to that the 3 yards I picked up on Saturday at Sauders... and I'm 32 3/4 yards on the plus side before Week #2 is a full day old.

But I got some cool stuff... here's the damages.

About 9+ yards were from 'Scrap Packs' - they were $3.95 and had anywhere from 1 1/3 yards to 2 1/4 yards.  Averaged out to approx. $2.20 a yard... and I'm happy with the fabrics.  Some are straight off the bolt cuts... others are odd shaped like half the width by whatever - a couple were short width 9" x 120" length along the selvedge.  They had a large basket of packets and I picked out the cubby ones in fabrics I thought I could use with this new project.

Scrap Bags 20

Here are the fabrics I purchases to go towards the Double Delight... well a couple of the light FQ's won't work but I kinda liked them so they came along for the ride.  The blues are pretty much darker than what they show up here... and so are the pinks.

Double Delight

Now I need to go and get some exercise... Quilty Exercise - Let the cutting begin!  Ohhh this feels sooo good!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I am so out of shape...

Well yeah that too but I'm talking about Quilting Shape...

Although I haven't finished shoving boxes and unpacking stuff up in my sewing room I have decided to jump into a project no matter the mess.  I wasn't going to... but Bonnie Hunters New Year's Mystery Double Delight got me.

The day she posted the Intro with the fabric selection I went up and started trying to find the bins or drawers that have those colors in them.  I eventually got frustrated and put everything back.  But I've been watching as the instructions have been posted... and I like what I'm seeing - so I went back up and spent more time organizing so that I could open my cutting table, set up my big 'iron it' surface and set up my SewEzi Table.

I went out on Saturday and purchased the cheddar and brown that I needed as I didn't find anything in the stash I liked enough.  I may also need to go and pick up some more lights as I'm a bit thin on those... unless I find the box with scraps in it - I know it's up there.

Last night and today I spent a few hours cutting some of the fabric I need - and ya know what?  My neck and back are killing me... I haven't done this much cutting in more than 6 months.  I can't have this... I have to get back in shape... Quilting Shape.

I'm finally finding some 'missing' items while I'm unpacking... but we'll talk about those later.

Oh... and I stubbed a toe last night before bed.  Why is it that everything you do makes that toe hurt?  Who knew everything was attached to your toes?