Monday, March 17, 2008

End of a Dry Spell?

It's been a while since I posted, but there didn't seem to be a lot to talk about at the time. Now I'll catch up.

You met my cat, Emma, a month or so ago. Here is a picture of her trying to remove her new collar:

You might not be able to tell from this, but she has her lower jaw *inside* the collar and is chewing on it. Perhaps I should snug it up by one hole so she can't do that anymore. The snap-together safety collars are pointless, as she can get those off in a heartbeat. She has been known to unbuckle the more traditional collars, but I think she just chewed through the elastic on the last one. She's our little Houdini. :) She has lost some weight, which is good. She was down to 12 pounds at her last vet visit. Unfortunately, her blood work showed that she needs to have the sub-q fluids again, which none of us were happy about. :(

Since my last post we had a nice "little" snowstorm. At one point I measured a drift of 23" in my driveway. I have a fairly long driveway, at least it seems that way to me when I have to shovel it. John had his wisdom teeth removed the day the snow started, so he wasn't going to be able to do much shoveling. I spent an hour on it that Saturday (Mar. 8) and managed to clear a path for the mail carrier to get to the mailbox and enough space to get a car in the driveway, if needed. Four hours later, you couldn't tell I'd been out there. I was feeling horribly trapped and despondent. My back was already tired/sore from clearing the driveway after the ice/snow storm earlier that week. (Gotta love Ohio -- 70 degrees on Monday, freezing rain and snow Tuesday and Wednesday, 40 degrees Thursday, then ~20" of snow Friday and Saturday). Luckily some kids came by later Saturday evening and offered to clear the drive and sidewalks for $20. I gave them $30 and still got deal.

While I was stalking around in my snowed in house, I finished the "purple" baby quilt:

For National Quilting Day (Mar 15), I sewed the binding on the front of my quilt guild's raffle quilt. I don't have a picture of it, but it's a queen-sized version of this:

I also finished two more Dear Jane blocks over the weekend:

I hadn't done a Dear Jane anything since the end of February. Hopefully I'll get back in the groove now. But first I have to get the hand stitching done on the raffle quilt. It needs to be done by next week, but I'm hoping to have it done by Friday, so I can drop it off with the lady who's coordinating the consignment quilt sales at the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo at the I-X Center next weekend.

Emma has now progressed from chewing on her collar to chewing on my fingers and my laptop. Guess that means it's dinner time.... :) Gotta go!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Weekend Update

Hey, long time, no see, huh? I admit I've been lazy about posting. It seems like I've been busy, but I'm not really sure what I've been doing. I know it hasn't been my Dear Jane blocks. I'm now officially 3 weeks behind in my goal of making at least one block per week. Thank goodness there aren't any real Quilt Police!

This past weekend was the NorthEast Ohio Regional Quilt Council (aka NEORQC) annual Getaway weekend at the Bertram Inn in Aurora, Ohio. It's just down the road from Geauga Lake for you locals. This year's theme was My Quilted Garden, and we were requested to wear our best garden hats for the "Garden Party" banquet on Saturday evening. My friend Beth and I got together on Valentine's Day to decorate our hats. Here's a picture of us before dinner (I'm the one standing):

The Getaway starts on Friday afternoon and I usually take the whole day off, show up around lunch time and help with whatever needs to be done. This year Mother Nature decided to provide some snow starting around rush hour, so it took a little longer than usual to get there. I still made it in time to dump my supplies in my classroom and unpack my luggage before lunch, though.

When you register, you choose a class and there's class time Friday evening, Saturday morning and afternoon and Sunday morning. Everyone usually goes back to their classrooms after dinner on Saturday, too, but that's not official class time. You can also choose the open classroom, which is basically do-your-own-thing. I've done that several times, since I usually have plenty of projects already in the works or on the sidelines waiting to be picked next. Since I've been going to "UFO Camp" (that's Un-Finished Objects) once or twice a year lately, I opted for a class this year.

I chose the machine quilting class, which was taught by Mary Bernower. My machine quilting skills leave a lot to be desired, so I thought it would be good for me. Mary taught us some fun things. I learned that I can't quilt hearts that don't look like strawberries, but I'm not too bad at wavy lines, especially when I want straight ones. :) I really liked the fill-in-the block flowers we learned. You start out with a spiral in the center, then add loopy petals out to edges of your block. A square block would probably have 12 petals - one in each corner and 2 on each side in between. I'd post pictures of my samples, but they're still new enough to be embarrassing.

I don't know if it was because I was tired, or just not in the mood for machine quilting, but I pretty much felt like a drop-out in the class. Mary was very positive and encouraging, but I wasn't "feeling it". So I spent some time in the open classroom with Beth working on the binding for the pink and yellow baby quilt.

Here's all I have left to stitch on it:

I wanted to get a picture of the way I put the label on. I'm sure I'm not the first person to do it this way, and I don't know why I didn't think of it myself before. I embroidered the label (yellow on pink, so it's hard to see), folded under 2 edges, trimmed the corner of the quilt, lined up the label and stitched it on with the binding. This way I only have to hand-stitch 2 sides of the label, AND someone will have to go to a lot of trouble to take the label off. I did the label for Big Red that way, too. I still need to post a picture of that one.

This is NOT Big Red:

It's the front of the baby quilt. The pattern is from a First Class Baby quilt kit I bought at I've used it a lot for baby quilts, since it's very easy to strip piece.

Since my last post, I did manage to get the purple baby quilt quilted, and the binding on the front. I'll do the hand work on that Friday while/after John gets his wisdom teeth removed. I also hope to get back to my Dear Jane blocks and triangles this week. I have a whole stack of them staged and ready to go.

So, it's time for me to get off the computer and work on something quilty!