Friday, January 25, 2008

I Couldn't Resist

Have I mentioned that I have the attention span of a gnat?

I've been slogging through the scrap pile....diligently cutting pieces for a couple of patterns at the same time. As the piles were growing, I couldn't resist "testing" a few blocks. This is also known as "Gee, I'd rather sew than continue cutting".

Here's a couple of "Crayon Box" blocks from

Then there's the "Boxy Stars" block - also from
Do you remember the customer quilt I showed at the beginning of January? You can take a second look here. Anyway, I just had to try to replicate it. Do we like?

Time for bed. But I'd still rather be sewing.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

It's Official......

......I am a slob.

Now this is not news to my closest friends. Nor is it really news to me.

My sewing room is so out of sorts that I'm not able to really function. This is my place of refuge - sewing calms me down and relieves stress for me. When it's this bad, it's not a happy place. I've been blowing and going on projects since October (and trust me - the place wasn't all that tidy before that). It's time to step back and deal with the mess before moving forward.

This is my cutting table after one whole night of putting stuff away. It's still cluttered.

One of my earliest blog entries was in January 2006 - scroll through it... see the corner that's all clean? See the last blue tub on the sewing table needing to be cut down into scrapsaver sizes?

Two years later - here's my reality. See the blue tub? It still has the original scraps in it plus more on top. See the corner? See the additional overflowing box? Good gravy! If I wasn't so "thrifty" (translation: cheap), I would chuck it all and start over. I love scrap quilts, and am a true believer that I can create really cool things out of leftovers and trash. It's not the value I would be throwing away; it's the possiblities.

Okay. So the challenge is to cut up all the scraps so that I can actually clean the floors. But wait! The most popular size of strips these days is 2-1/2". My 2-1/2" strip bin is almost full! Whatever should I do?

Okay. Here's the plan. I printed off a couple of patterns from Bonnie's Quiltville site that uses 2-1/2" wide pieces. I'll make a couple of leader/ender kits as I go! That's the ticket!

But do I really have the time this idea will take? Probably not, but I'll give it my best shot.

And then we find a compromise.

Friday, January 04, 2008

A Day on the Town

Audrey and I spent yesterday shopping in downtown McKinney. Surrounding the old downtown area are antique malls and boutique shops - we were specifically looking for a vintage vanity table.

Did you know there's a lot of crap these days in antique malls? We tried to decide which was our favorite.

She liked the ceramic owl statue (for $55 , at that....).

I preferred the neon ceramic Aztec bird bookends. I was so taken with them that I forgot to see how much they were... Do you think Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte would be appalled?

I must say, this was by far my favorite sign. Think we could get away with it at the shop?

We also visited an upholstery shop - I just wanted to see if there was anything that would be appropriate for Russell's new office. No go -but in the trim room (yes, there was a whole room of trim), I saw these and were fascinated.

I have no idea what you would put them on, but they were in Kaffe-like colors -so I had to take their picture.

I also uncovered this vintage quilt hanging over a metal quilt rack.

My guess is 1880's - and the $895 price tag reflected that. The only sad thing is that the harsh metal ends of the rack have rubbed the fabric into shreds. Here's a close-up a set of blocks - the logs finish at about 1/2".

We also saw this cute pillow - and oh so easy! The strips of fabric were cut on the bias and stitched down the middle with the right side facing the base fabric. Then the strip was folded over the seam so that the right side showed. The edges of the strips weren't finished off or anything.

Then there was this....thing. It's a pillow with 3-D roses on it. I didn't know whether to be intrigued by it or afraid of it. You be the judge.

And yes, we did look at vanities. It was kind of a Goldilocks and the 3 Bears kind of expedition. Too expensive, not enough drawers, drawers too deep - yadda, yadda, yadda.

Audrey really liked this one - but it was really beat up and it sat so low that I felt she wouldn't be happy with it once the "cool" wore off. It just wasn't practical.

This was the first one we found - Audrey didn't really like, but we took a second look before we went home. There was another lady that we had seen in several other places that was also looking at vanities. This one was $100 less than anything else out there and it has 6 drawers. Once Audrey was convinced that we could paint it red (once the weather warms up a bit) and that if we didn't buy it then, the other lady would, she decided that it would be perfect!

Sometimes you just have to know how to work the teenage mind....LOL! We'll pick it up this weekend.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

A New Year, A New Post

It's a new year....the last 2 weeks have been a blur. Many people don't realize that when you work retail, there is no such thing as a Christmas vacation. Once we got through Christmas, then it was time to begin counting things! Aaargh! We have a really good POS and inventory system, but you've still got to lay eyes on everything in the store. Were you aware that we currently have over 17,000 fat quarters in stock? I know this because we counted each and every one of them!

Besides working, I've seen 3 movies in the last 2 weeks. Now, I am not a big movie-goer (I could be sewing instead, doncha know..). But, the Friday before Christmas, my husband suggested we go to the movies. Since he usually doesn't want to leave the house, how could I say no? We went to see National Treasure 2. It's a good family adventure movie - you know it's going to be preposterous and you know how it's going to end, but it's a fun ride along the way. On Christmas day, we as a family are pretty much done with festivities - so we go to the movies! Since we saw our Christmas flick on Friday, we saw I Am Legend. It was okay - but when it was over I was kind of scratching my head. It ended without an ending, IMHO. Russ is never home on NY eve (since he plays in one band or another), so Audrey and I have started a tradition of going to the latest showing of movie. Last year was Charlotte's Web, this year we saw Juno. I have to say - taking my almost 13yo to see a movie about a 16yo pregnant girl may not seem like the most logical choice, but we thoroughly enjoyed the movie (it's VERY funny) and it led to really good discussion. I'd love to know if there is a soundtrack available - the movie is full of these fun, quirky songs. I checked tonight at Best Buy, but didn't see it.

I was really good in 2006 of tracking every project I worked on - and I did well in 2007 until about the last quarter. I haven't even pulled out my note cards to see how many things I worked on. But, here's a few things I got done prior to Christmas.

As you know, we've been working on remodeling Audrey's room since October. Her closet is microscopic, so we decided to go with external wardrobes from IKEA and turn her closet into a shelving unit. We also decided to not put the small louvered doors back and to hang a curtain over the opening instead. I worked all one day on making the curtain with the black grommets. Here's a helpful hint.....count the right number of holes needed to make the curtain ends land on the backside before you cut out the holes. Don't ask me how I know this to be true. Hence, the black and white fabric on the top. Sometimes you just gotta punt and git'er done.

I also made Audey this i-pod holder. It was a cute little pattern out of Quilts n More magazine. Have you discovered this gem yet? It's published by Better Homes and Gardens (the same publishers as American Patchwork & Quilting) and contains great smaller projects. Every issue I've looked at has something that I would actually make. I can't say that about all the quilting publications out there.

Now this is a travesty. This is my back-door neighbor's driveway. Can you believe that they have covered a load of crap on their driveway with a quilt? Yeah, it's a ragged out quilt, but it was RAINING the day I took this picture. What on earth is a quilt going to protect in the rain? It just made me sad.

Now here's some eye candy that is way cool. A customer brought this quilt top in last weekend to pick out borders. It was in great shape and was completely hand pieced. Can you believe we had the right shade of orange? I was fascinated with this top - I'd like to reproduce it using rectangles and connector corners. There's now way I'm going to inset all those pieces!

I also made a quilt top over New Year's, but no photo yet. Perhaps tomorrow.