Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Little Applique

As I mentioned before, I've been doing a bit of applique and finally have some finished products to show for the efforts.

The first is a repair on the witch's bum I'd appliqued last month. It just didn't please me so I ripped her a new one, so to speak. She's all better now.

Valeska asked for bunnies as a Friendship Block at guild to make a spring wallhanging, so I whipped up this little girl complete with puffy tail.

Last, but not least, I did some applique for the Spring Fling Round Robin and need to get that ready to mail out to.....someone who can't be named.

I was in the mood for spring, so I appliqued a couple of daisies for my center block. Just looking at this block makes me want to go outside and dig in the dirt!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

When is a Square Not a Square?

I was flailing around in the mess that is my sewing area for an idea for a baby quilt for Michelle that had a dog theme since the quilt for her son Arjuna was also dog themed.

Flash! I just happened to have 3 charm packs of Moda's Pampered Pooches that I'd picked up here and there at shops and shows over the last couple of months. So I found a little book of patterns for charm, Hooked on Charms Two that I also bought and began to cut out a simple
little quilt made of double four patches.

Simple, right?

What do you do when two different sets of the small four patches won't fit together? All I had to do was cut the charms into quarters and shuffle them up, how hard can that be? (See photo at right as an example of how hard it was...)

I haven't felt well for a week and thought maybe I was just off my game, but then I went to trim down the alternate squares from the charms into the 4 1/2 inch squares required. Lo and behold, the charm squares were not all exactly 5 inches by 5 inches. Some were 4 3/4 inches! (Click the photo at left to see for yourself)

I'm ticked off because this means that one whole set of the squares (that I've already mixed with the others) can only be used in the position of solid block and not in the 4 patches.

So, ladies, here is your tip for the day:

If you want to buy one of those darling little charm packs--feel free--but be sure and measure the thing first!

Rant over.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Saturday Quilty Fun

It is Saturday evening and the weather is kicking up. We're expected to get a couple of inches of rain from this storm, so I've been tidying up my sewing table (again!) and getting some things straightened up.

One of the gals in my guild has a contact in the Ukraine and periodically collects things for quilters there. I went through my stash and picked out a few large pieces totalling about 20 yards and have that set aside for her upcoming shipment. I also have about 20 sets of 4 inch squares from Benartex's "Mr. B's Preview Pack" a number of years ago, the predecessor of todays charm packs. I kept 2 packs, one Civil War and one 30's, but put the rest in the bag to send. The mantra is....I have so much, and so many have so little....

I also pressed a flimsy I that I'd put borders on at mini-group on Tuesday and I actually made the binding and put it with the top and backing on a hanger in the closet.....amazing!

I have 2 of the 2008 Sew-a-Row projects up on the design wall, one is on schedule and one was given to me early.

The hearts row (above) is quite large and I think I'm going to do some appliqued letters spelling LOVE under the row of hearts.

The project at right was given to me by the amazing Linda who is in my mini-group (Snooze-You-Lose) and was done well ahead of the April 1st deadline. Linda is an amazingly creative person and added the cats in the barn to the Boo row. Sandy made the Boo, a duplicate of one she did last year because the Halloween rows fill up so fast. My plan is to continue the scary barn theme and add spider webs with bright colored spiders hanging from the beam below the cats. These cats remind me of the "We are Siamese if you please" cats from Walt Disney's "Lad and the Tramp," and are just too cute.

Fun, fun, fun.

Friday, February 22, 2008


Well, I've been tagged by Karrin and Cheri, so I guess I better do it, right?

Seven weird or random things about me:

1. Like Cheri, I have been married 3 times. The first two didn't take, obviously. I've been married to Hubby for 12 years, a record for both of us. We are in this for the long haul.

2. I was born 2 months prematurely and spent the first six weeks of my life in an incubator.

3. I'm proudly and happily left-handed. It has always made me "different" and I like that. I can't imagine being any other way.

4. Though I come from raisin country of California, I absolutely hate raisins in any foods or by themselves.

5. My parents and my children are all natives of the state of Nevada, but I am a native Californian.

6. After my second divorce at age 42, I thought I'd never date again, but was dating my hubby within 4 months. Statistics released in studies at the time said so, but what do they know???

7. I have two biological sisters with whom I am not close at all, but several Sistah-friends who are irreplaceable to me (you know who you are girls).

Well, I thought I'd have trouble finding seven things, but there you are. More than you probably wanted to know.

I'm not going to tag anyone in particular, because this has been around so many times, but if you feel inclined--go for it.

Under the Weather

I've got a touch of the cruds and because of that I'm missing a weekend mystery quilt retreat with Linda Ballard and my pal Kathy. Bah humbug.

I did finish the Birthday Card mini-quilt form Benjamin's 3rd birthday, pictured at left.

It is part of a series shown below.

I need to get with the program and do Alex's birth announcement and first birthday quiltlets before April 9th.

Monday, February 18, 2008

I Love Round Robins!

As Mistress of the Santa Rosa Quilt Guild Sew-A-Rows, you'd better hope so!

I'm currently working on a 15 month project with a Blogger group known as the Round Robin Bloggers, modeled on an idea we got from May Britt (Abyquilt) and her fellow RR members. I can't post pictures of what I'm working on with that group because we've sworn each other to secrecy. We won't know what the project looks like until it comes back to us at the end of 2008.

When Supermom, organizer of the Four Seasons Quilt Swap announced the Spring Fling Round Robin, how could I resist? Like the RR Bloggers project, this will be a small quilt and as such will be very easily done. We are an international group and I like that, so stay tuned for progress on that front.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Benjamin!

Today my oldest grandchild, Benjamin is three years old. It is very hard for me to believe it--the time has just flown by.

He is about 2-3 months old in this picture.

At the left, he's about 2 1/2.

He looks like a very serious citizen from these pictures, but that just isn't so. I just wanted to capture his soulful side.




Friday, February 15, 2008

The End of the World As We Know It

We've had an interesting week at Chez Andrews. To say the least.

Last week we visited our doctor for a routine medication checkup and she had her staff call and ask for more time with Hubby. Oh crap. What could it be? Cancer, heart, prostate? After 50 you never know, do you?

The previous week, when we had some routine blood work done, our Doc also had a new test for food allergies run on Himself. Because he's already got a number of known food allergies (sesame, peaches, melons, carrots, salmon, etc.), she suggested a new test known as the the ICAP. Sounded like a great idea, right? Hubby has had long-term acid reflux and a strangling sensation in his larynx for months and was getting pretty tired of it and was willing to try darned near anything.

What were the results? My poor Hubby is allergic to:

  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Scallops
  • Walnuts
In addition to everything listed before.

Our first reaction was relief--it was something we could manage and he would be OK. Then we experienced all of Kubler-Ross' five stages of grief, but we are rapidly moving to acceptance. We found a gluten-free bakery in Pacific Grove when we visited his Mom this week and bought some bread and a flourless chocolate cake for the freezer. The difficult part is that many alternative recipes use either corn flour or soy flour in the mixture that substitutes for wheat flour.

I've spent the last 13 years since meeting my sweetie, perfecting the making of artisan breads and homemade pastas--the very foods that were making him sick. We bought a bread machine today and all sorts of alternative flours so we can start our new journey together.

We have a wonderful life and a can-do attitude, but this kind of threw us for a loop....big time.

On the good side, after a wheat-soy-corn-free week, his throat is better and he's been able to quit the acid reflux meds. His immune system went into shock (and withdrawal?) and he caught a case of bronchitis that has him pretty miserable.

He's just grateful that he can still eat his homemade cheese and salami and drink red wine.

I think I'll go pour up a glass.......

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


That's exactly what it is.

Last week, Nicole sent me a lovely Jelly Roll of Moda's Folklorique line as a prize for having the messiest sewing table. (Hubby wonders why we are rewarding such behavior, but what does he know?) The colors are lovely for sure and as I was looking at it, I kept wondering why it looked so familiar.

I pulled out a pattern I purchased on my trip to visit Becky last month called Jelly Roll Jive by A Graceful Stitch. I loved this pattern at first glance, and a double bonus--two patterns for the price of one--and I liked them both! Well, long story short, the quilt on the left is made using the Folklorique line, so I hopped over to my favorite fabric search engine and found everything I wanted in this line to complete the quilt as pictured. Not that much, a couple of yards of red and a yard of cream. Helping the US economy is our patriotic duty, right? If you've not visited the site, beware--it can be habit-forming, but it is easier than going from shop to shop yourself if you are looking for something specific. Let me say that I did participate in a local customer appreciation shop hop on Saturday and hit all of my local stores without finding any of the fabric I needed.

Always shop local first, ladies, we want our LQS's to stay in business, don't we?

I also have been appliqueing like a fiend on a couple of Friendship Blocks for guild and my Verna Mosquera BOM from Thimble Creek. The witch for January arrived a few days ago and I was able to finish her while watching the Stupid Bowl on Sunday. I don't like the way her bum sits on her broom, so I'm going to fix that. I'm also not crazy about the broomstick being uneven, and may fix that as well. The Owl and the Pussycat are in progress, but very complicated, so won't be done for a few days.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I Did--Did You?

Today is Super Tuesday and 24 states, including a couple of "Big Dogs" like California, Illinois, New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York. Its too bad that some of the "Little Dogs" knocked out my favorite candidate, John Edwards.

No matter which candidate wins, the Democratic Party nominee for 2008 is going to rock the good-old-boy political traditions of this country and it is really great to be a part of that momentous change.