Just my musings about life, quilting, my family and my dog.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Kindle Cover

My son celebrated his 26th birthday last week.  I know, I must have had him when I was 9.  Anyway, he bought himself a Kindle and I said I'd get him a cover.  Really, I meant I'd make him a cover.  Nothing says LOVE like a handmade item, right?  Well, the day came and went and nothing arrived from mom (Bad Mom!).  It has been on my To Do list for WEEKS!

He was in town yesterday for some online something or other and stayed over with us to have breakfast and debate the merits of his Law School education.  I asked if a homemade Kindle cover would be OK.  The sweet thing said, "Yeah."  It turns out I had extra fabric from the computer cover I made him so he got a little more enthused about the project.

Chica and Jo have a very clever Custom Kindle Cover tutorial on their blog.  DS1 took a nap (those online whatevers are very exhausting and they run late - 3:30AM!) while I set to work.

TA DA!  1.5 hours later, I had this to give him. He was VERY happy with it. 


Here it is folded flat.
















Here it is set up like an easel to make reading easier











 If you like it stop by Chica and Jo's and make one for yourself or someone you love.

I read a good quote recently and thought it would be good to share here.

There are only two options: Make progress or make excuses.

There ya go.  Get out there and make progress.
CHRIS

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

I have so many projects to work on that I can't decide where to start.

Let's see, there's Roll Roll Cotton Boll, the Red and White project I started in Bonnie's class at Road to California, or Patti's quilt to finish.  Now mind you, there are at least two dozen other UFos I could put my hands on in under 5 minutes.  These are just the three most obvious ones. 

I'm going to flip a coin: Heads it's RRCB, tails it's R and W.



RRCB it is.


My DH sent me a sweet email today.  Apparently he was snooping around on his computer and found this photo:


It is a picture of my boys in Xian China 3 years ago.  From top to bottom are DS1, DS2, and in the hat, DH.  Yes, all the grayness is SMOG.  Xian was wonderful as long as you weren't too attached to breathing.

Napolean Bonaparte had this to say about making decisions:

Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide.
(Even if you have to toss a coin)
CHRIS

Monday, January 24, 2011

Is This So Wrong?

In my profession, it is necessary to obtain continuing education credits.  Yesterday I had the pleasure of experiencing a very good seminar.  Even though it was very good, my short attention span makes it hard for me to sit that many hours.  Long ago I discovered that I could be more successful if I work on a small hand-work project as I sit and listen.  In fact, I made MANY of my Dear Jane blocks in Continuing Ed seminars.

I brought along an applique project that just happens to be on my 2011 UFO list.


I was sitting in front and the lecturers saw what I was doing.  They didn't say anything and neither did I.  Should I have asked permission?  Should I have let them know why I do it?  I've seen lots of women knitting in other seminars in the past.  Does that make it right?

Was I wrong?  How can finishing something so cute be a bad thing.  BTW, I finished FOUR of these.

True politeness consists in being easy one's self, 
and in making every one about one as easy as one can.
                                                      Alexander Pope 
 
Chris

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Blue Ridge Beauty

Road to California was excellent again this year.  The quilts were beautiful, the vendors were plentiful and the classes were fantastic.

Bonnie's Blue Ridge Beauty that Blogger insists on posting sideways.
Of course, the best class one was the one I took from Bonnie Hunter.  I was so lucky that she was teaching Blue Ridge Beauty on the only day I could take a class.  I have been lusting after this quilt since the first time I saw it on her website.  BUT, like most of Bonnie's quilts, it involves a gazillion units and I just never seemed to make time to make the quilt.  I thought this sounded like fate: meet Bonnie, make The Quilt.

Here I am with Bonnie Hunter























 It's a two color quilt so I dug out all my red and neutral scraps and started cutting.  I sewed ALL DAY and got this done:






 I sewed some more and we played some more and Bonnie came up with this:


I think this is the version I am going to make. It's sweet.  Now I just need to figure out how I want to make the center blocks so the heart looks good.  I'm thinking just 4-patches without the 1/2-squares.


Since Valentine's Day is coming up and I have a heart-shaped quilt on my blog, I thought this might be an appropriate thought on which to end:

 "Love is the condition in which the happiness of
another person is essential to your own."
                                Robert Heinlein
 
 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

OOPS

I asked my DH to help me figure out the "Comments" part of my blog.  "Just go to my blog and post a comment for me."  His sharp intake of breath reminded me that the previous post was probably not one he should have seen. :-/

Just imagine me slapping myself on the forehead.

Oh well.  We are having a lazy Sunday morning reading in bed on our laptops.  I don't think it gets any better than that.

Here is the view I awaken to every morning:

"Keep Me Sane, Jane"

Well, not the EXACT view.  This shot of my Dear Jane quilt was taken at the San Diego Quilt show a few years ago.  She hangs on the wall at the foot of my bed so I get to see her every morning.  I started this quilt the same year we started a MASSIVE remodel of our home.  I bet my DH that I would finish the quilt before he finished the remodel.  It was not a bet I wanted to win but I did.  It took me two years to get the top together and another 18 months for a group of Amish ladies to hand quilt it (the rules of our bet were somewhat loose).  Nevertheless, it is done and the house still is not.  Someday I'll write a few posts about the whole remodeling nightmare adventure. That will help you completely understand why I named her "Keep Me Sane, Jane."

The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.
-Mark Twain
 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

True Confessions

I know I said I was boring in my last blog, that all i do is hole up in my "cave" and sew.  What I didn't tell you is why I hole up in there and what I am avoiding.  I decided it is time to fess up and be honest.
This is what my living room looks like:




 And my dining room looks like this:



Yes, that's a lot of junk.

My MIL passed away in January 2010. You can see her comical photo in the middle of the third photo.  It took my beloved spouse and his brother until November 2010 to get things organized and move their father to a facility near us.  Part of the cleanup involved absolutely STUFFING a semi trailer with all the "stuff" from the family home that they couldn't bear to part with.  BIG HUGE SIGH.  It has been sitting in my living room since the trailer arrived at my front door a few weeks before Christmas.

So, yes, my dining room has TWO dining room tables, one stacked on the other, and two couches, also stacked one on another.  Many of the boxes in the living room are full of "contested" items.  In other words, things both my beloved and his brother want.  In my Not so humble opinion, the brother can HAVE IT ALL.  DH disagrees.  SECOND BIG HUGE SIGH.

What I didn't show you was my upstairs landing with is clogged with contested artwork  

So, there you have it.  If you don't get a new post from me in over a week, notify whoever the group is that is responsible for finding people lost in the woods or buried under earthquake rubble.

Thanks to Sue Rasmussen I will leave you with this quote to ponder:


"Clutter is a physical manifestation
of fear that cripples our ability to grow."
H.G. Chissell 
 
I think it fits what my spouse is facing after losing his mom.

Friday, January 14, 2011

EEEK!!



I am still learning about all the bells and whistles on Blogger.  Another blog I read mentioned how many visitors she's had.  Curious, I went to my counter and it read "666."  I hope that doesn't mean anything about the person who was that 666th visitor!!

I've been pretty boring lately, just holed up in my "cave" trying desperately to finish my Roll Roll Cotton Boll mystery quilt.  I already peaked because I can never stand the suspense of how a quilt will look in the end.  The end is pretty darn good. Hop over and take a look for yourself.  Bonnie will have the pattern on her blog until June.  In true Bonnie Hunter fashion, there are a million little piece that comprise this quilt.  One step directed us to make 600 2" half-square triangles.  You know, it wasn't that bad.  I finished them in two days.  It wasn't nearly as bad as the 100+ teeny, tiny, 9-patches we had to make for Carolina Crossroads!
Here is what I have so far on Roll Roll Cotton Boll:



This is just pinned to my wall.  I have placed the churn dash blocks with the alternate blocks from the mystery. I love the string blocks but I don't think I like the neutrals that I chose.  I am thinking of making either a completely different alternate block in the same colors as the churn dash blocks or making a WHOLE NEW sett of strings (SIXTY!!) in light violets or pale golds.  What do you think?

In any case, it will be hanging on my design wall for a while till all the churn dash blocks are made.  Maybe it will grow on me.  But I doubt it.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Back to Normal (Whatever that is)

We've been home from our vacation for almost two weeks and I've been back to work for one week.  I guess that represents a return to our normal routine.

Izzy was not thrilled to be a working dog again.  We take her to the office every day to keep her out of trouble at home.  What that means, of course, is that she gets into trouble at work.  Lately, she has discovered that our clients discard perfectly good, only slightly chewed gum in the trashcans.  She is not one to leave tidbits like that unenjoyed and has developed quite a bad gum habit.  As far as I can tell (and I don't really try to tell that closely) she doesn't swallow the gum.  I'll come around a corner and find her happily chewing away.  I can usually get her to give it up pretty easily.  Sometimes, I don't catch her in the act but I will find remnants of twice-chewed gum on the front carpet and in her fur.  ARGH.

On the quilting front, I am very pleased to admit that I have finished the first UFO assignment from Judy Laquidara's challenge.  TaDa.

This is the photo from my UFO list



And here is the completed quilt.  It is about 50" by 60".  I was reading Bonnie Hunter's blog and she had posted a picture of the quilt that was the inspiration for this one.  It is "Playing With Jacks."  Hop over to her website for her free tutorial and make yourself one.

 I wanted to add a couple more pictures from the RV adventure -- just to show some more of the good parts.  Here I am with my sons examining a plaque for a Rodin group-sculpture on the Stanford campus.  What a beautiful place.  It may be my favorite university campus.




This second photo was taken through the windshield of the RV as we were going over the Golden Gate bridge.  This is probably the last photo taken before the danged thing died.

Hope all is going well for you.



Here is something to chew on this weekend:

"Big changes in our lives are more or less a second chance."
                                                                   Harrison Ford.

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