Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Just pretend...

Mom used to play that game with us when we whined about being bored or were enduring something terrible, like booster shots. Hopefully, reading my blog isn't boring or as painful as shots to a 5-year old. But anyways, moving along. Let's look at this photo and pretend:


1) that my carpet isn't so dirty. Ulgh.

2) that the makeshift piano key border actually extends ALLLL the way around Plan C.

Then you'll have a finished Schnibble.

I'm {this} close to being done with the top, and I could stay up another couple of hours to finish it. It's tempting, but sleep is going to win out this time, and I am determined not to regret this decision later.

Maybe if I had actually gone back and finished the Tagalong Schnibbles from way back in April, I might be a slightly more motivated to finish Plan C. But since there's no chance that I'll meet the final challenge of completing all 12 patterns within the year, I'm throwing in the towel on the last month. Also, in the spirit of this blog post, I think I'll actually enjoy the piecing more if I'm not bleary-eyed and clumsily stumbling around the sewing room, from the sewing machine to the iron.

I'd still like to go back and do the Tagalong pattern at some point, mostly because as I've mentioned before, I like closure. Since I have the larger version of the pattern - Tag Sale, I might even bust out a fat quarter tower to use for the project. See here and here for some pretty stinkin' inspiring quilts from this pattern.

Anyways, enough rambling for tonight. Be sure to check out Sinta and Sherry's blogs tomorrow for the August/September Parades of Schnibbles! The Schnibbles peeps never fail to crank out some awesome quilts each month!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Menu Plan Monday, 8/22-8/28 + Goals

I think I'm denial that August is almost over. Don't get me wrong. I'm not going to miss the ridiculously humid days of summer, but I am a little shocked at how quickly the summer's flown by. Geez, I'm getting old, yada yada yada. Before the month draws to a close, however, there are a few things I'd like to finish. If you're interested, keep reading...

1) The final installment in the Year of Schnibbles - Plan C in Simple Abundance. I have not even started. Oops.

2) Cut out the fabric for Triangle Modern Quilt Guild's Glam Garden Gala. I don't even wanna think about what kinds of favors Quilt Dad had to call in to make this happen. But he secured the equivalent of a layer cake in this collection from Robert Kaufman for all willing guild participants. The catch? We have to use the fabric from the 10" squares + 1 (and only one) other fabric to make a quilt by our October meeting. Again, I haven't even started. BUT I have a plan, and I've made a practice square to make sure I know what I'm doing. That counts, right? A big shout-out and THANK YOU to Robert Kaufman for generously donating the fabric!!! Be sure to check out their website - in addition to being the Papa Bear Company of quilters' solids, they have lots of other great collections coming out soon!

Finally, because it's Monday, here's what we're having to eat this week...

Spinach Risotto
Tortilla Soup, Homemade Taquitos (holdover from last week)
Pizza, Salad
Black Beans and Rice with Mangoes
Broccoli Cheese Soup, Baked Potatoes
Dinner Out with Friends!

Since we're DINKs (double-income-no-kids), I didn't think that back to school week would affect us that much. Alas, a slight change in the bus schedule is slightly disrupting my routine, so I'm trying to keep things as simple as possible this week. I know, a slight change shouldn't be that disruptive to our dinner routine, but I'm channeling Stewie here.

For more menus, be sure to check out today's post on OrgJunkie!

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Little More Time

A couple of days ago, Sarah challenged her readers to think about what they would do if some more free time magically materialized. Here's what I came up with...

if I had an extra hour . . .
if the clock were set back 60 minutes right now, i would:
★ honestly, I would probably sleep
★ take the dog for a long walk over at the state park
★ make a cooked breakfast on a weekday - the ultimate luxury - then clean up afterwards, so a sink of dirty dishes wasn't greeting me upon my return

if the power went out at the library today (it happened once!!) and I had the day off, I would:
✔ tidy up the house with a power cleaning hour
✔ take some photos of quilts and projects in the works during the daylight hours
✔ plan food and grocery list for the next week
✔ sew my August bee blocks
✔ spend an hour or two reading my book of the week
✔ unpack a few more boxes (Yes, we're still unpacking)
✔ take a carload of stuff to the Goodwill
✔ go get my public library card (I know, I'm a wretched librarian!)

if there was a library strike (hmm, not sure what would lead us to strike) and the whole week was cancelled, I would:
✿ spend the first day doing the things above
✿ quilt and bind the scrap quilt that's basted and ready to go
✿ take the Hubz out for lunch
✿ finish the August Schnibbles project
✿ blog at least three times
✿ watch a few movies from the Netflix instant queue
✿ walk the dog every day

if I were granted a one year paid leave of absence right now, I would:
♥ sew my way through a couple of quilt books, probably Jelly Roll Quilts and Schnibbles Times Two
♥ take a trip to Seattle and Portland - we've both always wanted to see the Pacific Northwest
♥ go bug my parents for a few weeks
♥ actually miss my job
♥ quilt all the tops that are stored under the guest bed
♥ finally figure out how to bake a decent loaf of bread
♥ write a few tutorials for the blog
♥ explore Durham some more
♥ get rid of everything in the house we don't love or use
♥ make our living room a little less 80s tastic - paint the walls, new couch cushions, slipcovers, a few handmade throwpillows, and what the heck, a couple of quilts to throw on the backs of the couch and chairs.

what would you do with ______ amount of time off? answer here, or post and comment with your link!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Still Catching Up

Again, I went a whole 'nother week with NO posts. Somehow, the week felt busy, but I'm still trying to figure out what exactly I did. I surely didn't clean the house, and I kind of kept up with laundry. I did manage to get some time in the sewing room, but not nearly as much as I might have hoped. Oh well, we ate well and caught up on tons of rest after the shower last weekend, so at least it wasn't a total waste.

I did finally hunker down to make and attach the bindings for the small quilts Gunther took it upon himself to break in. I see lots of movies and/or mindless TV in my future (hopefully) so I can curl up on the couch and tack down the bindings on the other side of the quilts.


I'm also huffing and puffing to catch up with Karrie's Charm Pack Quilt-Along. It took nearly half a season of Mad Men to get me through it, but I finally finished pressing and squaring up all the half-square triangles Thursday night.


[Sidenote: speaking of Mad Men, is it just me, or was Pete Campbell a total sleaze in Season 1? We've watched the first 3 seasons so far, and since we don't have cable and I'm missing season 4, I'm going back and watching the first 3 seasons all over again. I'm pretty sure they toned down his personality quite a bit over the course of the show. I cannot stinkin' stand the man in Season 1.]

Anyways, squaring up my HSTs... I know it will all be worth it in the end, but good lawd, it takes awhile to trim away that 1/16" or so off all sides of the squares. I'm about halfway through the 4-patches and can hopefully catch up in the next couple of days. All this mess of fabric came from my stash, y'all. That's right. No trips to the fabric shop for this quilt (so far - I still haven't purchased the backing or border). And I STILL have a mountain of scrappy charm squares. I could probably make this quilt three more times and still have enough squares left over to cover our front yard. Hmm, okay, maybe not that much. But seriously. I think the charm squares are reproducing while I sleep.

Finally, because it's Monday, and because you're all dying to know, here's what we're eating this week...

Twice-Baked Potatoes, Broccoli (because we never got around to it last week)
Chicken Tender Salad (to pay penance for the potatoes)
Frozen Pizza, Salad
Vegetarian Chili, Baked Potatoes
Mexican Pizza (a vision that came to the Hubz the other day)
Tortellini and Vodka Sauce, Zucchini

For more menus, be sure to check out today's Menu Plan Monday on OrgJunkie!

Monday, August 9, 2010

It's Alive!

I realize that the blog has been pretty much SILENT over the past couple of weeks. I agreed to help out with a baby shower for the sister-in-law that took place this past Saturday. In the end, it was lots of fun, but it kind of consumed my life there for awhile. Let's just say I let myself get a little overwhelmed by all the details and everyone else's expectations. Ask Mom, she'll tell you. She came to visit during the middle of the planning process the beginning of last week, and I used her visit to engage in some serious retail therapy at the local quilt shops to work off the stress. How I'm justifying the fabric splurge to myself:
- I stayed within my allowance, once you factor in my b-day money.
- Most of the fabric was bought on sale and/or with a gift card
- ALL of the fabric will be used with fabric I already have for projects I've already conceived.
- Honest to goodness, I was a lot more RELAXED about the shower after I bought all that fabric.

(Dear Hubz, if you're reading this, please don't ask me exactly how many yards of fabric came into our house last Tuesday. I did the math while I was trying to fall asleep last night. It's an astounding/embarrassing number.)

Before I dropped off the face of the earth, however, I managed to finish up my July block for Sew Bee It. Ramona sent us some scraps of feedsack-like fabric, and told us to make whatever we pleased from them. For once in my life, I was glad I procrastinated on this, because about mid-way through July this block started popping up in blogland, and a few days later, I found a tutorial. I thought it was PERFECT for these scraps. As luck would have it, Rebecca, one of the other bee members, made the reverse version of the block. Ramona - If you happen to be reading this, I realized last night when I was looking through pictures that I COMPLETELY forgot to make your signature block. I just cranked one out, and I'm mailing it tomorrow. Sorry for the brain fart!!

Scrapbuster Block

Once again, the bee block would be PERFECT for scrap-busting, especially if you have a bin of 1.5" strips, like I do. If you have especially large loads of 1.5" strips and/or honeybuns to eliminate, take a look at the reverse block here.

More crafty adventures to come later this week, including:

While you grip the edges of your seats in anticipation, here's what we're eating this week:

  • Sun-Dried Tomato Risotto
  • Falafel-Stuffed Pitas, Carrot Sticks, Potato Chips (I know, potato chips are evil, but sometimes the excessively crunchy lure of kettle-cooked chips is simply too dang strong.)
  • Spinach Shells, Broccoli
  • Breakfast for Dinner - French Toast, Smoothies
  • Frozen Pizza, Salad
  • Minestrone Soup, Salad, Rolls
  • Twice-Baked Potatoes (Summertime version with Corn and Roasted Red Pepper), Broccoli

For more of this week's menu plans, be sure to check out Menu Plan Monday @ OrgJunkie.