This recording will self destruct...

Today, my boss and I are recording a discourse on our competitors practices and software. Now, I've learned so much about our competitors in the last year that I feel I could join them, but making this recording is making me nervous. I can stand in front of a hundred people and talk, no problem. I can do that because I know that if they don't understand, they can ask questions. But, to record what I want to say to an audience I can't see and can't hear is very outside my comfort zone. And, it doesn't help that we've known we needed to do this for 2 weeks, and he just started writing the presentation that goes along with it last night. I was supposed to receive a copy to look at today, but didn't get anything in my email this morning. Oh, well. I wrote my part and just plan to read it aloud. It covers everything and fills the time I'm allotted. The way it will work is that he'll speak and go through part of the presentation, then I'll talk, and then pass it back to him. Everything is so high tech now.

Whooohooo! It's raining! I can hear it thundering on the office roof, and am hoping we're getting at least some of this at home. The veggie garden is looking pretty sad, despite our watering every other day. And, the grass has started to lay over when we walk on it and not stand back up. We have one of the greenest lawns in our neighborhood, thanks to copious amounts of manure spread at the right time of year, but all the sprinklers in the world can't make up for a little natural rain now and then.

And, Sydney is facing her first diet test. Today, the summer camp is going to the pizza place for a treat. While we were walking around the neighborhood this morning, before the hot sun came up, we talked about how little pizza it would take to blow a diet for the week and how she could have all the salad she wanted, so long as she was careful with the dressing. I think she's going to be able to do this. She's pumped up about the weight loss and she's learned my oft-repeated lesson that diet is about moderation, not deprivation. We all need a treat now and then. But just one...

Y'all take care and have a great Tuesday. Last night was my night in the living room with the family. Tonight, I get to quilt. Compromise is a wonderful thing. And, I'm ending up with a very cute sock from my family time, cuz if I sit still, I fall asleep. See ya on the internet. Lane


Did I really start this?

I am NOT going to tell you how many hours at the sewing machine this little pile of pieces represents. Just know that I didn't touch anything else quilty all weekend, except these. When I finally pulled myself from the machine at bedtime last night, I had one more of the arc's started and I finished it this morning. I have got the arcs down to about 25 minutes each, and the curved diamonds and large arcs at the bottom of the photo took about 45 minutes each, but I expect them to go faster now that I've had some practice. There are 120 of the small arcs to make...and I have 19. Ugh. But, after 6 hours of sewing on Saturday, I only had 5 arcs and one curved diamond.

There is a rhythm to making them and it takes three stations, one for cutting, one for sewing and one for ironing and I've got them set up so I don't have to get up from my chair. Now, if I only had a better chair. I've passed up a hundred free padded desk chairs as my office has redecorated over the years and now, it looks like I'm going to have to buy one. RATS! My beautiful old wooden one that I've been using for years creaks so bad that I can hardly hear the TV anymore and since I'm sewing and not really watching, hearing is very important to keeping up with plots. The centers of the 25 blocks are four patches and my mentor didn't have those cut for me, so I went to JoAnn's yesterday and bought 11 quarter yards, some fat and some cut from the bolt. I didn't have much orange in my stash and half the centers are orange, ranging from yellow to dark brown, and half are gray, ranging from light gray to black, and including dark greens and blues. Those will be easy, but I don't quilt with much orange. The goal is not to use any fabric more than twice, and not to use it in the same position more than once. She had already cut from 125 fabrics and then she cut some more from her stash and I'm planning to cut some from my stash, so there should be a lot of variety. So far, I've only ruined one paper foundation to the point where it can't be reused, so I'm going to have to photocopy one and hope it comes out the right size. I've heard that copiers stretch the image slightly. I can only hope it's slight or I'm up a creek.
On a family note, I took Sydney for a haircut yesterday. It was the first time I had taken her. My best friend has been taking her in for that, but I realized that with all the other girl stuff I've learned to do, this one should be a piece of cake. I talked to her before we went and made sure she could tell them what she wanted, and I gave her a couple of bucks for a tip. And, I sat near the door and read an Earlene Fowler mystery. It's been years since I was in a salon...bald men don't need them. I had forgotten the smell, yuck! She seemed to do well. I heard she and the hairdresser chat the whole time she was in the chair. I was afraid she'd get all shy and sit there frowning, but she didn't. And, when they were through, she slipped the tip in the girl's hand and thanked her. So, I guess it was a success and the my little girl is growing up. I'm starting to see more evidence of young woman around the house, starting with hairbrushes everywhere. And, she stuck her head in my door this morning to say "remember when these shorts were really tight?" and she had the waistband pulled out with about 3 inches of extra space in them. GOOD FOR HER! She's finally seeing the result of all our hard work and all those salads. I'm proud as I can be and I think she is too!
Take care and have a great Monday. See ya around the home page. Lane

Turquoise Sunday

Is it Turquoise Sunday already again? Okay, I made up Turquoise Sunday, and I'm not really sure how long I can post new turquoise things. But, anyway, I thought of this quilt. I know that it came from my maternal great grandmother. I love it and have always planned to restore it. I have a perfect piece of brown fabric to replace all the brown squares that have disintegrated and I got the perfect 5 yards of turquoise heavy cotton for the back. But, when I unfolded it today and saw how bad a shape it is in, I realized this is probably the best it's going to get. Anyway, even if I don't fix it, I'll continue to love it to death.

If you've followed my blog, you've heard the story of the quilt that was put under the car to change the oil and it has a huge black oil stain on the back. The plan was to cut that out and reback the quilt, then replace the brown squares on the front and requilt it next to the original quilting. But, see all those half squares around the blocks? Those are all brown and they're all shredded. It's a shame, but that's what happens when there are so many quilts in a family. Some of them end up misused.

Take care, have a great Sunday, and I'll see you on the webpage. Lane


The blogging angels are against me today

Not sure what is up. I can't view my own posts and can only read a few of other people's. It could be something about how I hook up from the office. Not sure, but at any rate, I'm going to post while I can get in and I'll catch up on my reading tonight. We are enjoying (right!) a record breaking heatwave. Yesterday was 105* and today promises to be the same. Several of my co-workers went to lunch, but I just don't see the point in leaving the office, especially since I had a really nice salad in the fridge, just chillin' and waiting for me.

Tomorrow, my mentor and I are going to lock ourselves in a conference room at her office and work on our Indian Orange Peel quilts. After all the shopping and talking and looking at quilts we've done, this will be the first time we've sewn together. That should be interesting. And, I already know that we foundation piece differently so we'll have to see if we share ideas or if she insists I do it her way. That could happen as she's older and has been quilting since I was...well, since I was a yung'un and like I've said before, she's my mentor for a reason and there's a reason she's got all those ribbons. There are 120 arcs in the quilt and I only got 36 cut out last night, but that's no big deal as I'm sure I won't be able to piece more than that in a single sewing day, especially since we'll yack half the time away, deciding which fabrics go together and which ones do not. I'm taking my whole quilting cotton stash with me to choose fabrics from. Whoohoo, after my last cleaning out, I can finally get it all in the car at one time. I may have to sit on a box to drive, but I should still be able to reach the pedals. (Okay, I cracked myself up with that visual).

I picked up my new glasses yesterday...again, and with the new prescription, I can't see a darn thing. He warned me that there would be a long adjustment period because the script was so different. I'll probably take both pair tomorrow, just to make sure I see to sew along the lines. Unfortunately, they made yet another mistake. Not so bad that I refused delivery of the glasses again, but enough that it's time to find another eye doctor. Love the doctor. Can't deal with the support staff. Don't have time to wait while they play around.

Okay, that's all that's going on around here. Work, work, work. Play, play, play. Now it's time to eat, eat, eat.

See ya on the internet. Lane


I want to be Matthew McConaughey

Okay, am I the only one that occasionally wants to be somebody else? I want to be Matthew. Not the real Matthew, but the glamorous pretend Matthew that we see in the movies. Self-confident, beautiful, worshipped by all who see him, independently wealthy, and doing a job I love. That's who I want to be.

I think this is called a bad hair day, but what's it called when you're bald?

There's nothing wrong with my life, except I'm bored. Bored with my life, bored with my job, bored with the decisions I've made. Bored with being an accomodater. Bored with the unrealistic expectations others have of me. You know what I mean...my own level of self-pity. Tired of the tire that's grown around my middle, and my bald head, and my swollen eyes and pudgy fingers and sore knees and eyes that can't see without glasses. Tired of the fact I don't have a college degree and tired of being in this same job, doing the same thing and cleaning up the same people's messes day after day. Tired of having to prove I'm right when no one else seems to have to ever prove I'm wrong. Tired of my clothes and my car and the Texas heat.

I want to be blond and drive a convertible and look just as good when I don't shave for a week. I want to laze around my private pool and have a staff that keeps my house spotless, and a gardener that raises organic food for me to eat and be a vegetarian. I want it to rain every day from 4 to 4:45 to cool down the earth and bring new bloom to the flowers. I want a cool breeze that blows all the time and trees with big leaves that rustle in the wind.

And, I want to be surrounded by people that accomodate me for a change. I want them to bring me ice cream that doesn't make me fat and lemonade that's just that perfect match of sweet and tart, and I want bulging muscles that I don't have to work for.

I want a nap.

But, I'm going to have to settle for my MP3 player and listening to soft music while I plug away at the things that give me enough money to keep us all fed and a roof over our heads, and only doing enough chores to keep us healthy and clean. I'm going to have to worry about my old dogs, and the fact that I didn't thaw anything for dinner, and the price of gas and groceries and electricity and what's going to happen when I need a new water heater.

But, jeez, I'd like to be Matthew.

Take care and I hope you haven't been so overwhelmed by the hum-drumity of life that you've lost the ability to dream that you're someone else. Those dreams are often what keeps us going through the things we have to do; and I hope you still have them, like me. Because as Scarlett said, "Tomorrow is another day" and I'll have to drag myself out of bed and start over and do the same thing then that I'm going to do today. That's what real life is...doing what you have to do, cuz that's what you choose to do and it's what I secretly love. But, don't tell Matthew cuz he probably secretly wants to be me...



Done is not always good enough

Sydney has decided I've gone nuts. Our biggest disagreements are about whether done is good enough. Last night she watched take apart a sock I've been knitting off and on for about 3 months and she just can't get over what a waste that was.

I hated this sock. It was the ugliest sock I've ever knitted and I blamed it all on the $16 ball of yarn I was using (and the dyer and the seller and the pattern designer and sometimes the company that made the needles). Really, it was ugly. And I was all the way down the leg, around the heel, along the foot, and shaping the toe. It was just busy work that travels well, so I wasn't really invested in it...well except the $16, but I'd forgiven myself for that crazy splurge at a quilt show in the spring. But last night, I started looking at it and along the sole of the foot, where I had just done a straight knit stitch, it was actually pretty. It was the pattern stitch I'd used that did not fit the hand dyed yarn. I looked at it, and I ran my hand along it, and I thought about it...and I pulled out the needles and started balling the yarn up again. By the time she came out of the shower, it was all over and I was reinserting the needles just under the stockinette stitch at the top so I could start from there again.

Now, she's seen me do this a hundred times with quilt blocks. I get just about finished and realize that if I'd just do one little thing different, I could turn something I hate into something I love. But, for some reason, she thought redoing this ugly sock I'd spent so many months on was nuts. Even this morning, she told me how crazy I am to start something over. She just wants to get things done and move on. I so hope I can instill some of my willingness to redo in her...not too much. No need for her to be obsessively compulsive like me, but a little perfectionism can be a good thing. But is there such a thing as a little perfectionism?

Anyway, now that I'm loving the sock again, I finished several inches of leg in an hour and a half last night. Funny how it was taking so long when I hated it and now that I love it, I'm flying through it. Using a simpler pattern is also helping me fly through it.

I'm in a quilting slump right now. My family wants me in the living room. My heart wants me in the sewing room. I can't get interested in any of the small projects that I can do in the living room. I want to be working on the quilt I plan to compete with next year. And, I'm looking forward to the mailman delivering my Indian Orange Peel foundations so I can get together with my mentor and start that. A busy quilter is a happy quilter.

Oh, and I finally broke my 5 lb weight loss barrier. Whoohoo!!! I can see the changes in my body from all the exercise and dieting, but I hadn't lost any weight since the 5 lbs in the first two weeks we started our new weight loss program. That was over a month ago and I really needed the encouragement this morning while I was sweating my butt off. Poor Sydney hasn't lost an ounce, but I can see her arms and legs toning up and she's getting into some clothes she'd outgrown. I know she wants to see results too, so I keep pointing the changes out to her and we started measuring her last Sunday (arm, thigh, and torso) so she can see some results, too. We made the mistake of watching an Oprah episode that talked about dressing to match your body type the other day and she got really discouraged. I wanted her to watch it so she'd know what I'm talking about when we clothes shop, but she just wanted to ignore it. I was okay with that. Only one of us really needs to know that stuff right now and if she's not ready, I can do it for her until she is. Our compromise was that if we're clothes shopping and she likes something and I say it won't work and she asks why, I'm going to tell her, so be sure she wants to know before she asks.

Ugh, raising a girl can be so hard. Y'all take care and have a great Wednesday. I'm looking forward to the weekend. it's too hot to be outside, so I have great plans for quilting the days away. Lane


Is anyone still doing these?

I'm doing so many BOM's this year that I have to take one weekend a month and just devote it to them. The first one I started was with a bunch of people from my previous blog site. It's from BunnyHill.com and is called "A Tisket A Tasket" and is a series of baskets, one per month, with something seasonal in each one. I'm going to make one addition to the original design and embroider the month on each one. Some of them are just missing something and I think that if I slip the month into them, at various places on the block, like up one side of the basket, or between the handle and the basket contents, it will give them just what they need. Anyway, haven't done that yet. I've been too busy to go backward and add stuff. For this one, I'm thinking of embroidering June up the right side, starting just above the bird's wing and ending just where the handle starts to kind of fill in that blank space.

These blocks were where I got started on the applique kick. 2009 has turned into applique year for me and I'm getting better and better. In the first couple of basket blocks, I tried several different applique methods, trying to find the one I liked best. In my practice, I have 3 January blocks, each made with a different method and all good enough to keep. But, in some subsequent months, I've made terrible mistakes and ended up throwing the blocks away and starting over. Now, I have the neatest stilletto that I can use to fold the edges of the fabric over the freezer paper and keep from burning my fingers and I've become quite adept at applique...and keeping my fingerprints.

On the homefront, Sydney got her braces off this morning. She did so good through the whole process, never complaining about any pain and getting regular compliments from the orthodontist about how clean she was keeping her teeth. In a year or so, when all her permanent teeth are in, we'll see whether she needs another round to adjust the front teeth to the back ones, but the ortho is not sure she'll need it and I'm really hoping not as we've just about used up the ortho benefit on my insurance.

I was so tired last night that I fell asleep on the couch while hand stitching some hexagons onto my hexagon medallion quilt. I just sat it in my lap for a second to cut a new piece of thread and woke up about 40 minutes later. Rob and Sydney were nice enough to let me sleep, but after I woke up, they sure had a big giggle about me sitting upright and snoring. I tried to blame that on the dog that was sleeping next to me, but they were not going for it..."that little dog was NOT making all that noise".

Reading: I haven't talked much about reading on the blog, but I am an avid fan of good books. I've been reading Endless Chain by Emilie Richards. This is my first book by her. I've only read quilt related novels by Jennifer Chiaverinni and I have to say that this book is very, very good. The characters are well developed and the plot has lots of twists and turns and it has been a real page turner. I'm about 50 pages from the end, so don't tell me what happens because I truly cannot predict it, which adds so much to my interest in a book. I have 4 of the Shenandoah Album series and can't wait to start the next one. But, first, I'm going to read an Earlene Fowler quilt mystery, just to give her a try and see what I think. I love a good mystery and I love quilts, so unless it's just terrible, I should enjoy it.

Take care and have a great day. I'll see you around the blog site. Lane


Two father's day

I was catching up with the posts I follow and found that several of you have fathers that were not your birth parents. That means so much to me now that we have Sydney and I'm hoping to be thought of as "Father", years from now.

I had completely given up on ever being a father. I actually hadn't given it a thought in years. Then, when we had the chance to take Sydney and I said my very quick and not well thought out yes, I didn't think what it would be like. In my mind, I think it was a little like rescuing a puppy. I mean, how hard could it be to raise a child. Ohhh, how I miss that naivete! And, poor Sydney went from no fathers...well a succession of men who provided she and her mother a temporary place to live...to two fathers. Okay, that's gotta be wierd. In the beginning, she told a few different stories because she didn't know how that would be accepted. And, we encouraged her to tell whatever story she wanted to...so long as it was true. She could call us her uncles because Rob is her uncle, even though they don't share any blood relationship, or she could call us fathers, or she could just say she was living with us. Anything, so long as it was true. And, it was a pretty hard fact to hide since we both went to all functions together, and we alternate picking her up, and there's just no hiding the fact that there are two men being responsible and an absence of women. Not to say that there are no women. We have friends and she has friend's mothers, and we have neighbors. But, it's been pretty obvious that there are no women in the house. And, because of that, I've had to learn all kinds of things I never knew before, like what the letters in a bra size mean, and the difference between briefs and bikinis, and how a bathing suit is supposed to fit and why conditioner is important for long hair. But jeez, I'm still incredibly confused about women's sizes. (What's up with the odd/even thing, anyway?)

But, despite the fact that I'm not her birth parent, and despite the fact that the adoption is on hold cuz the lawyer went bankrupt and didn't refund our retainer, I can't imagine my life without her. I really love being a father. And, because I'm the feeder and the nurse and the hairdresser and the clothes buyer, I get celebrated on both mother's and father's days.

But, yesterday, we focused on Rob, the other father in her life and what he wanted to do to celebrate was take a nap. So we kept quiet and let him do it. And, I spent the day making up for taking Saturday off from chores to go on our little road trip. And, we got caught up on all the latest horror movies, and I taught Sydney how to appreciate a good horror movie...if they give you a really gross contingency, like "inject this epinephrin directly into my heart if I pass out", they're going to do it at some point. And, the hero's getaway is never easy, so if you think they've escaped with a minimum of bloodshed, they're going to have to escape again. Horror is so predictable in the movies.

Time for an update on the cmas quilt. Here are blocks 7 and 8. The little wagon is the center of the quilt. I spent a lot of time getting all those half square triangles just right. I decided not to repeat any fabric in the dark half. The lighter neutrals have to repeat because there wasn't enough in my stash and my mentor's stash combined to make all of them required for this quilt. Three little stars left to add and the tree block will be finished. Oops! I forgot all about them and they are important to the overall quilt as a repeating theme.

Take care and have a great Monday. I'm working hard today to catch up from taking Friday off. Wow, two days in a row of catching up is too much for anyone. Lane

Turquoise Sunday

Okay, so time passes and things get better...THANK GOODNESS!! Anyway, Thursday afternoon, the kid and I had a nice chat and Friday, I had the day off and got all my errands done and a cmas block finished and Friday night, I stayed up late and worked on my leader/ender. I was using a bad fabric in my lights and I know that part of a leader ender is that it shouldn't be matchy-matchy, but it was really throwing my triple irish chain into chaos.

After therapy, we went driving in the country and had a nice small town lunch. We love to do that. Most of the time, we touch everything we see in all the antique shops and spend about $4.99 and have a ball. But, today was a little different. We found tons of stuff...cheap! and later I realized it was all turquoise. Not sure what the significance of that color was for today, but it sure found me and just kept jumping out in front of me.

First, we found a shade to go on our old turquoise lamp. This poor lamp has had the most hideous shade on it for years and we found this one for $4. It's one of the old heavy paper shades with the fibers showing, like really good vellum and leather laces holding that to the frame.
Then I found this. It's an iron cord holder and you clamp it to the board and it keeps the cord out of the way. When I was a kid, Mrs Statham had one and I thought it was the most clever thing in the world, and have lusted for one since I became a quilter and really started to use my iron A LOT. Anyway, now I have one and I can't wait to get it on the board and give it a spin.
We've been collecting this set of dishes for years (okay, so I'm a sucker for dishes), picking up a piece here and a piece there and enjoying the hunt. About 25 percent of what is below we already had and we went into an antique shop and found the rest. She wanted several hundred dollars for it and I said I couldn't afford that and she said make me an offer and I said $50, just to be polite, but expecting her to turn me down...and she didn't. She upped it to $60 and we spent the next 15 minutes wrapping it in paper. Love it. And, it's the brightest turquoise you ever saw. Now, I've gotta find somebody to invite to breakfast soon. It will be the perfect set for that.
A fun day for all. Sydney picked out a few things with her pocket money, but I'm about asleep, so I'll have to wait to post pics of that tomorrow. Y'all have a great evening and I'll see you around the net. Lane


Bad parent day

Good grief! I'm having a bad parent day. I've been doing so good lately, but things have just been stacking up. I know my kid is no different than most everyone else's anymore. She came to us with a lot of issues, but 22 months of therapy for us all and a new style of parenting for Rob and I has helped us work through so many of them. And from what I hear from the parent's I talk to, Sydney is better than most at following the rules. But lately, the sense of entitlement to only have fun, and half doing chores to create time for that fun, has been more than I can stand. For the first time in a long time, I raised my voice instead of just assigning an extra chore right off the bat, when she frustrated me. I ended up leaving breakfast on the stove and closing myself up in the bedroom for about 20 minutes and things got a little better.

And, it didn't help that I picked up my new glasses yesterday and what he recommended and I agreed to was not how he described it and I couldn't see a thing that was more than 8 feet away. They were great for close up work, like quilting and reading, but I couldn't see the TV and when I tried to drive to work this morning, I couldn't read the streetsigns, or even the billboards without putting my chin on my chest. That's not going to do me any good, so I took them back this morning and told them I'd need the lenses replaced. They were good sports about it, and I think they expected it because we had this whole discussion yesterday about how the doctor knew I couldn't see at a distance without glasses and I was sure he wouldn't prescribe glasses that weren't going to allow me to see to drive (he was out of the office). So I took them to test and try to get used to, but it didn't take long to realize that I could only see distance through about the top 1/8 inch of lense. RATS! Two to three more weeks of headaches before the new ones get here. But a headache can't keep this quilter from quilting, and I have the font on my computer at work set to larger print.

Okay, so now that is over, how about some quilting. I finished the $5 block last night. That one is due today...nothing like a deadline. Disappointed in the quilt as a whole this year, too. I realized there were going to be issues when she assigned a block that had an orange that clashes with all the pinks she already used. I'll probably take the orange block apart soon and replace the fabrics with a pink I already have. No need to make another ugly quilt, just for the practice.

And, I read all about that Karen Stone quilt I'm going to make with my mentor. You Go, Em! for being able to pick the designer just from a photo. The colors are gold/orange/brown and gray/black/purple. She said the fabrics were going to make a very fall colored quilt...not that mine will be done by fall. I haven't seen them, but I do know her stash and it should be phenomenal. We will be getting together as soon as my foundations get here to get started.

And, because I was in such a mood this morning, I sneaked into the sewing room to add border strips to a cmas block. The sound of the needle going up and down is soooo relaxing. I'm sure Sydney knew it would calm me, because she gave me a few minutes in there alone and then came in to chat and ask questions. Of course, that was my chance to apologize for being so stressed and raising my voice. I guess all's well that ends well.

Take care and we'll see you on the homepage. Lane


What was I thinking???

I had lunch with my mentor yesterday. I showed her my patchwork panache quilt and we discussed things I could to to make it look better. She helped me identify what I didn't like about it and we talked about things I can do differently. The quilt top is fantastic, but the quilting just didn't fit it and I've never been able to look it in the eye (pun intended because there's a face quilted into the center of it).

And, everything I had planned for the class quilt (sometimes known as Haiku) turned out to be a bad idea and she showed me why. I was too disjointed and trying to put too many themes into quilting it. She helped me scale that back, but it means I'm back to the drawing board...literally...to decide how to quilt it. Many of the ideas I had will stay, they'll just be in different places so they don't compete with the piecing. That's my biggest quilting mistake. I try to do some fancy quilting over my piecing and I just haven't mastered how to do that without the two elements competing with one another. So, I need to steer away from it until I can see it in some more quilts and get an idea of how to balance the two.

Okay, so let's check the list. That's two tops to quilt that I have a plan for. Two tops to quilt that only have a concept, not an actual plan. Two tops where are the blocks are made, but they aren't assembled yet. There's also a Cmas applique quilt and 5 BOM's. And, I took on another challenge! What WAS I thinking?

She is going to make this quilt.

And, in cutting the strips for it, she cut twice as many as she needed. So, she offered to let me copy the foundation pattern and make one using her extra cut strips. How could I turn that down??? I even ordered the pattern with all the foundations yesterday afternoon so I don't have to copy. My only requirement was that she meet with me a couple of Saturdays and help me get started because I haven't done much foundation piecing. She agreed. I agreed. I'm committed. I'm too busy to blog. Gotta go, gotta go...oh, wait, I'm at the office. I can't quilt anyway. I may as well stay here all day long. Hmmm, that could be a dual blessing. Blog all day, get fired, have plenty of time to quilt...at least until we run out of food and money.
Take care. My responsible side is kicking in and I better get back to work. See ya on the web. Lane


Neat and Tidy...for a while

Well, I found out yesterday that my company isn't going to let me blog on this site from work. RATS! I'm sure that it is incredibly important that I not be able to add content...cuz I might add something incredibly inappropriate...right!

Anyway, I spent the weekend cleaning up fabric, so I'm sharing a pic of the closet where I store it. It's so nice to have it organized, but it's still so packed into those tubs that I can barely pull a piece out when I find it. Oh, well. At least I can find it now, right?

Today, I'm having lunch with my mentor. I'm going to take the patchwork panache quilt to show her and see if she has any suggestions. I'm still not happy with it, but I don't know why. Don't you just hate that? It's much easier to fix something if you can identify what's wrong.

I did not get my cmas block finished. There's still border to add around the block that will act as sashing in the finished quilt. And, my $5 quilt block is cut, but not assembled and it's due on Thursday. And, I really need to be working on the Haiku quilt, but am on a short break from it. Can't work on it all the time. I absolutely need variety in my quilting.

I've been visiting the old blog site, but can't get logged in. Glad I found so many friends here.

Work is hard and next month, it's going to get harder. We're rolling that new product out in a second state and I, for one, am not looking forward to it. Working that hard really crimps my personal time. And, I've gotten another complaint about how much time I spend in the sewing room, so I've found several hand work projects that I can work on out with the family. Guess they're never going to come to me, so Mohammad must go to the mountain.

Sydney and I are working out 5 days a week. We both had a little weight to lose...okay, we both had a lot of weight to lose. Unfortunately, we're both in that phase of building muscle and not losing weight, so it's hard to be encouraged. Iwas able to get into an old pair of shorts that cut me in half last month, so I'm feeling good about it. Guess I need to try to find something that she'd outgrown because I can see the difference, but she wants to see it in the scale and it's just not there yet. And, Rob is quitting smoking. I guess this is the summer for us all to try to be more health conscious...but I'd kill for a big hunk of chocolate cake!

Y'all take care and have a great day. See ya on the blog. Lane


Organization is sweet!

I'm still folding. I guess there's about 40 yards of fabric in the goodwill bag. Stuff I'll never use, lots of poly and upholstery. Still a little to go, but everything is fitting in its new space and giving me a ton of extra space. I'm not normally the most organized person but am hoping that this time, it will be easier to maintain. While I thought it was organized before, things weren't folded uniformly and that made it very difficult to get everything back into its proper bin, but this time, I folded using the ruler method and everything folded to about 6 1/2 inches wide. If I can pick up one more bin in the grocery today for my batiks, I should be all set. I posted a pic on the old blog to show how full the fabric closet was, now I'll have to take another to show how organized it is. I am tired of folding and organizing tho. Now, I'm ready to quilt and I need to piece three small star blocks to border a cmas applique block. Hope to get them finished today. And, I have fabric to serge and wash so I can get it in the bins. I was surprised to find unwashed fabric in my stash. Thought I'd taken care of that the last time I "organized".

Here are blocks 5 and 6 of the cmas quilt. Course, there are still embroidery details to add. Hopefully, I'll have block 7 by end of day.

Take care and have a great Sunday. I'll be trying to get to some quilting. Lane


still excited

I've been so excited about finding everyone again that I've spent most of the day folding fabric. I know, it's really crazy, but it's hot as the gates of hades here today and humid to boot, so inside work was definitely called for. And, my stash was overflowing and needed a good culling and folding. Spooky! Anyway, hope everyone is having as much fun as me. Tomorrow, it's goodwill. Take care. Lane

Good Grief, Everybody's here!

I'm almost weepy, so glad to see so many old friends here. I've raided everyone's followers lists, linking to as many of you as I could find. Some have changed names and if I didn't recognize you, please link up to me and let me know where you are. There's still a couple of people that I want to try to convince to move. I hate to be moving, but, like several of you have said, I just can't keep posting at the other site as it is unstable.

Okay, so I'm still posting old pictures that you guys have already seen. I'm trying to do a little catching up and setting up and when that is done, I'll start to post some new stuff. These are two more blocks from the cmas quilt.

I'm so excited! I'm sure I won't get any quilting done today. I'll spend it all online getting everything just like I want it. And, cousin It, aka the kid, who I've decided needs to be called by name, Sydney, just came in the room, so peace and quiet have ended and 10 billion question time will begin. See ya' soon. Lane


Post 2

Wow, I am so surprised by how much I miss my old blog group. Daily, we conversed through comments and shared stories with one another. Now, here I am at this new site and I haven't figured out how to hook up with other quilters yet. Hopefully, over time, I'll be able to find blogs to follow and from there, link in with others. It's very different for me.

My daughter is in "fish camp" today. It's her chance to go to her new middle school to get a chance to look around and familiarize herself with the new building and what they have to offer. Kids are so strange. When I picked her up, I was full of questions about how the day went, and she walked around with her head hanging down like she was carrying the whole school building on her shoulders and gave one or two word answers. But, when my partner got home, she was all bubbly and anxious to tell him all about it. She held back on the parent that wanted to know all about it, but couldn't wait to tell the parent that didn't ask her any questions. Oh, well. I'm sure that's part of that control thing that we're working on.

She's been with us for about 22 months now. It's been a really hard time as we've all adjusted to one another and dealt with our issues about family. We've all had to change. My partner and I have had to change how we thought we should parent, and make room for her to be an individual in our house. But, at the same time, we had to teach her what was expected from living with us and being part of a family that cared and watched over one another. She was not used to that when she came. She was used to being very independent and self sufficient, even earning money throught simple jobs to buy food for herself when her mother didn't. It has taken a long time to convince her that there would always be food for her here and that we would eat at a regular schedule and that she didn't need to hide food in her room. But, we've managed it. We can even keep treats in the house now without fear that she will munch out on them during the night.

Wow, a lot about food, so here's a little about quilting. I'm working on a really cool applique cmas quilt. I really didn't do much applique before this, but am really enjoying this little piece. It's such a combination of country and abstract and each block takes a different set of skills. If you look at my blocks, starting with the first and going through the current one, I can see amazing improvements in my skills.

Here is block one:

And, block two:
I'll post the other two blocks I have pictures of tomorrow. I've made 7 blocks total, just 5 more to go. I love how the sashing and stripping are built into each block. They'll fit together in columns to be joined for the quilt. Have a great day! Lane


First day

Well, here I am, starting a new blog. Some of you may have followed my blog at another blogsite, where I blogged under the same name and same blog title. Due to problems on that site, I decided to move my blog and have viewed the blogs of other quilters here at blogger and thought it would be a good place to start over.

I've been quilting since 1999. I quilt every day, for at least a little while. I may not be at the sewing machine, or have my rotary cutter in my hand, but I do something quilty, even if it's just planning or designing. I like to create my own quilting motifs and am not afraid to try something complex. I enjoy the quilting process as much as making quilt tops. I hand quilted for several of those years, but then I upgraded my machine and now I am a machine quilter. I love how fast I can finish a project when I machine quilt it, but even with that, my average time from start to finish is 9 months to a year. I usually work on a top, and when it is finished, hang it on the wall and wait for the quilting inspiration to hit me.

I always was a piecer and have pieced a lot of patterns. This year, and I'm not sure why, I've gotten into applique. I never did much applique, but now, have at least two applique projects in the works. I have 5 BOM projects going on (Memory Lane from Block Central, Tisket a Tasket from Bunny Hill, Star Struck from Gourmet Quilter, Come over to My House from Forever Green quilts, and a batik BOM from my local quilt shop.) I'm also working on a really cool Cmas BOM from an older pattern that a friend shared with me.

I use bold colors and am not a pastel person. In fact, I've only started using pink at all. My partner and I are adopting an 11 year old girl and I didn't use any pink until she came to live with us. Now, everything is pink, it seems. Of course, because it's her favorite color, she wants to have everything I make that is pink, no matter who it is planned for.

I also have a quilting mentor who I consider a master quilter. She has taught me so much about quilting. She's a prize winner from APQS in Paducah and has made countless quilts. While I still tend to make a lot of quilts, 27 last year (including quilts for project linus), my mentor usually only makes one a year. But, what a quilt she makes every year. She also prefers a professional quilter, and who can blame her with her works of art, but I do my own quilting.

I'm going to miss the old blog site. I had a lot of friends there. I hope that it comes up long enough for me to let them know where I am. If not, I hope a search will lead them here.

Here's a picture of the last quilt I finished. We'll see if you can actually see it. Take care. Lane