Thursday, August 27, 2009

Quilting is Theraputic

I used to have an adorable, spunky, long haired, Calico cat named Jazzy. My brother had her but she was getting beat up on by his other cats. My cat was depressed and lonely and needed a friend, so I brought her home with me.

A few years ago when I lived with Michelle and Julie (so 4-5 years ago), Julie mentioned she hadn't seen Jazzy all day (Julie was student and had been home that day). I went looking for Jazzy and found her under the bed. She didn't stir at all when I lifted up the bed skirt. I was horrified. I didn't want to poke at her for fear of what I would discover.

Thankfully I have some amazing friends. Michelle confirmed the worst. I was devastated for one thing and didn't know what to do with her. So, I think we called my guy friend, Gus and he helped with that part.

Michelle called our pastor, who came over to comfort me. I thought that was really sweet.

What I would learn years later is that my then future husband was having his studio painted that night. Our pastor was going to help. That's just the kind of guy he is. Note: he also doesn't even LIKE cats! Anyway, my husband tells the story "Pastor is such a nice guy. Did you know that before he came over to help me paint my studio, he was consoling some little old lady whose cat had just died?"

I blinked a few times and then laughed HYSTERICALLY. Those of you who know me, know it doesn't take much to get me going. I was LOSING it. I knew who the "little old lady" was and I just busted a gut!

Anyway, this blog entry is really about the therapuetic part of quilting. I had to share that funny part with you too though!

I was too upset to go to work the next day. I had to take Jazzy to a friend's house for proper burial. Since they own their home, it was the best option for me. After dropping her remains off at my friends' house, I had another errand to run. Well, I had to wait for some reason and it just so happened that one of our local quilt shops was right across the street.

I stepped inside and found the PERFECT fabric for a Jazzy Memorial quilt! One print had balls of yarn on it. It was very bright and colorful, like my spunky calico! I started picking out coordinating fabrics and was starting to feel better already! I even already had a pattern picked out in my mind (the missing Rusty's block pattern! I'll have to make a copy when I go back to Mom & Dad's next week!).

I spent the rest of the day, rotary cutting, and stitching these bright fabrics together. I think I got the whole top done in a DAY. One of Mom's long-arm quilting buddies (referring to the skill of long arm quilting, not the length of her appendages!) quilted it perfectly for me.

It's still a reminder of my snuggly, playful kitty, Jazzy to this day!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Quilting Goals

My quilting goals:
  1. Set up quilting area in my room (includes sorting my dresser and emptying out some drawers). Goal date: 9/18/09.
  2. Finish current quilt in progress. Goal date: 10/1/09 (should be able to finish it before then since I'll be spending 5 days or so at Mom & Dad's and Mom has already said she has room for me to work on it!)
  3. Join local quilt guild: Goal date: 11/1/09
That's enough goals for now. I'll keep you updated on my progress.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Conclusion of : The Case of the Missing Foot Pedal

Have you ever embarrassed yourself to yourself? For example, one time I couldn't figure out why I couldn't get into my white mini-van, parked outside of Trader Joe's. I happened to glance inside the vehicle and noticed that the seats were not torn as mine are. Hmm...that's odd...and a particular hand out I had placed on the passenger seat to look at later was missing...OMG! It hit me! I look around to make sure the actual owner of the car didn't see me trying to get in! It turns out my key won't let me into just any ol' Chrysler mini-van! Hmph!

I was so embarassed to myself, that I just HAD to call SOMEONE to let them know. Yes, I'd rather be embarassed with someone else knowing about it. It somehow takes a little sting out for me. So, I called my sister and shared my humiliation with her.

Well, today, faithful reader, I come to you to share another embarassing story so I don't just keep it inside where it will torment me for hours...

Remember The Case of the Missing Foot Pedal? Well, while I'm about a week behind in posting both stories, here's what happened:

Last weekend, I was all fired up to go back to the sewing machine store who was holding my foot pedal hostage. I wanted to get Jen's machine back to her and needed to resolve this before any more time passed, anyway. Plus, I think my husband was actually in town, in case I needed any "muscle." Yes, I was going to sick him on them if they tried to charge me for a replacement foot pedal.

Something was nagging at me though. Keep in mind that since I got pregnant and subsequently became a mother, my memory and overall brain power just aren't what they used to be. But I had a funny faint memory like the sewing machine store employee who I used to work with had told me way back when I was getting it repaird that the pedal wasn't in there to begin with, but the repair guy didn't need it to do what he needed to do. But the memory of this situation was so faint, it felt more like my brain was just making things up, trying to fit the pieces together. ((("Pieces" pun totally unintentional, I SWEAR)))).

So, with this faint, nagging feeling, I decided to give one more look around for my pedal. OMG. Would you believe...could it possibly was UNDER MY SEWING TABLE!!! OK, now while that SOUNDS like the most obvious place to look first. It really isn't. I don't have the best sewing room set up yet, so I always wind up sewing on my huge, family heirloom, kitchen table, where I can spread all my stuff out. So, looking under the sewing table is actually the LAST place I would ever look. As it turns out it WAS the last place! I mean, aren't things you lose ALWAYS in the "last place you look"? hahah I love that saying! Cuz yeahhhh, why keep looking?!?!? But seriously, that really was the last place to look and THERE it was!

So I guess the sewing machine repair people only pretended to lose it! Hmph!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Case of the Missing Foot Pedal, Part I

O.K., so you know I've been ransacking my home, looking for any one of three patterns: Yellow Brick Road, Rusty's block, or Crazy Eights. Having had no luck, I finally broke down and loaded up the little one and headed to our local quilt shop. This was back on August 8. That's where the store owner basically designed my whole quilt for me and sent me on my merry way.

All was well. Baby was sleeping...I started dragging out all of my quilting gear. I threw what lit
tle bit of fabric I needed to buy into the wash and got to ironing the stash that already had on hand and had previously pre-washed.

THEN it happened. My quilting aspirations crumbled to the floor like a glass shattering on my tile floor...a million itty bitty pieces....the power cord to my sewing machine was GONE GONE GONE! Like a flash back in a movie where someone's life flashes before their eyes, I was taken back to pre-baby days when I was making her some diapers and I messed something up and had to take my machine for repairs. I trie
d to recall sewing since getting my machine back.

Nope. I'm pretty sure I haven't sewn sinc
e then. I've been kindda busy! grrrrrr! Text my frustrations to all my sewing of which offers up her machine to the cause! yayyy, Jen! The next glitch came when I got into a groove sewing and the bobbin ran out. Jen's machine purrs like a kitten, but I had to kind of fumble my way through winding the bobbin. Got it wound and put back in as best as I could figure.

Well, suffice it to say that I'm thankful for another one of my BFFs, Diane, who came to my rescue (see exhibit "A"& "B"). Her machine has a similar style bobbin, so she helped me get it all worked out. After much frustration and still not being able to get it right, we finally discovered we'd missed threading the machine through the tension knob! Eureka! Back in business! Yayyy!

I managed to get quite a bit of sewing started on my quilt. I'd say I'm about 25% done.

Stay tuned for the conclusion of : The Case of the Missing Foot Pedal!

Exhibit A: Exhibit B:

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Disappearing Nine Patch it Is!

I wasn't able to find quite what I was looking for in the way of a free pattern online. Most of them were just single block patterns and what I had in mind really combines a few blocks to form one new, bigger block.

I made a visit to my local quilt shop. I looked around a while and narrowed it down to three patterns:
  • Turning Twenty Again
  • it's late and my mind is now drawing a blank on the other two!

I explained my plight: I knew what I had in was one of the patterns I already own and didn't want to buy again because I knew that was the fastest way to find my patterns! Sigh! So, upon establishing my intermediate skill level, she volunteered to share a new technique/pattern she'd learned. Basically you make three sets of nine-patch blocks. One set will have all the same centers. You then cut the blocks into quarters, flip 'em around, and sew them back together into new & improved blocks! What ends up happening is the centers get smaller, if you will.

Well, after some research online, I determined that what I'm working on is called a Disappearing Nine Patch! I tried searching "nine patch variation," which ended up looking really cool, but it's not what I'm doing this time. Maybe some other time.

It's almost 1:00 a.m. I have so much more to write about my plight today. Suffice it to say for now that I have all of my 3" strips cut out and ready to sew back together and cut up again tomorrow! Hopefully Lil' Miss will take a good nap or be willing to play independently for a while at least! I'm on a roll now (well, kindda, but more on that later!)

~*~ Sara ~*~

Friday, August 7, 2009

I've Been Bitten...Again!

Well, it happened again! I stayed at Mom & Dad's for a week and got bitten by the quilt bug! I was first infected over 10 years ago, when I lived at home for the 2nd time. Mom & took a class together. We made a baby quilt. It was a 9 patch/single patch combo or something like that. We both still have those first quilts.

I've made a few more quilts over the years. I made a "Crazy Eights" baby quilt for my godson for his baptism two years ago. Before that, I made a "Rusty's block" a few years ago when my long haired Calico kitty, Jazzy died. It was my therapy. Other than that, I haven't done too much quilting. I've started a few, though!

Well, after perusing my mom's quilting magazines, I really got hungry to get back into it. The fact that my friend, Kimie is having a baby in October is the PERFECT excuse!

I was really wanting to make another Crazy Eights, Rusty's block, or try a Yellow Brick Road. The problem is, I can't seem to find any of the patterns! We moved into this place almost a year and a half ago and I really haven't done any quilting to speak of since then, so I have no idea where all of my quilting stuff is! Grrrrrr.

So tonight I set out looking for free patterns online. There are lots of great ones, but I have a certain "look" in my head. Maybe I'll find one of the ones I mentioned tomorrow.

Stay tuned for more quilt adventures! I'll try to post often. Since quilters also cook, I'll post the occasional recipe here and there too! Oh, and my little girl is my most favorite topic, too, so no doubt you'll be hearing about her milestones along the way too!

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