Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Not gone yet

New quilt update: I finished another square over the weekend. It's slow-going, folks.

Not much else going on. The Husband and I have been working on the dining room floor. It's about 1/3 done, but once we get past the doorway we are working on now it should be smooth sailing until we hit the corner cabinets.

My mom leaves on Thursday to begin the process of donating stem cells to my uncle. Send them your happy thought waves!

Friday, March 24, 2006

It's been quiet

Sorry I've been so quiet lately. I haven't had much free time in the past few weeks. I haven't been reading other people's blogs, either, and I think I've fallen behind in current events.

But I'm still kicking. Just a quick how-do and a quilt update: two and a half squares quilted.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

1 down...28 and stripes to go

I have managed to completely quilt only one square. Yep, that is right. Just one. I am almost done with another one but I couldn't quite get it finished last night. At this rate I definitely won't be done by The Girl's birthday. The Husband keeps telling me not to worry about making it for her birthday. At this point I'm not too worried because June seems so far away. But I know as it gets closer I'll start feeling the heat. So maybe I should just say now that I don't expect it to be done. Then maybe I won't be disappointed.

Not much else new except the hole in the dining room floor. The Husband hopes to work on getting that fixed this weekend. I hope it isn't too stressful.

Today is Benito Juarez's birthday, according to my calendar. Not sure who he is but since it indicates Mexico I'm guessing he is some kind of liberator. Have a nice liberated day.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Something to look less forward to

The problem with looking forward to something for a long time is that it doesn’t exactly live up to expectations. I guess I wasn’t sure what to expect at quilt night. The Husband thought they would be nice but have little cliques and probably be little old ladies. Chalicat also thought they would likely be old. I guess I figured they would be a mix of ages and generally be a friendly bunch.

Ok, they were a friendly bunch. And yeah, I was most likely the youngest person in the room. I am guessing the youngest people there besides me were in their forties. But they weren’t as old as I expected, either. Most of them had not yet hit the big six-oh as they talked about that a bit.

But I am easily intimidated. Instead of being friendly and open myself, I mostly spoke to the person next to me and that was about it. I didn’t try to jump into any conversations they were having (except once when I mentioned I went to school with the granddaughter of a shopkeeper they knew…that seemed to touch a nerve or two, oops) and I definitely didn’t try to lead any conversation. There wasn’t tons of quilting talk but most everyone seemed to be working on something, even if it was not a quilt. I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t a hey-there-is-a-new-person, let’s introduce ourselves and give a brief self-history moment. The woman sitting next to me did tell me everyone’s name and said a little something about each person, but it isn’t the same, especially since nobody really seemed interested in learning anything about me. A few did ask about my project. This maybe is to be expected. Maybe they see tons of people come and go and until I demonstrate regularity I’m no big deal. Who knows.

So. I’m going to go back again for at least two or three more months before deciding if I like it or not. I mean, I did enjoy last night. I just didn’t feel like I fit in. That is not an unusual feeling for me, though, so I should just get over it.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

And so it begins

I started quilting The Girl's quilt last night. Like I feared, flannel is not as easy to quilt as cotton. Which is what I was getting at when I spoke to the clerk at the quilt store, but she seemed so convinced that I'd insulted the wares somehow that she wasn't very helpful. I am going to continue to quilt with this backing, though. I am considering trying invisible thread to do the quilting so that the giant stitches won't be visible on the backing.

And tonight is my first quilt night. I am so geeked out for it. I even got my "bookbag" ready on Sunday night so I wouldn't have to scramble last night. Maybe someone there will have some advice for me on quilting the flannel. Wish me luck!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Those dang fates

The crafting fates were apparently trying to kill me Friday afternoon. I took the afternoon off to trot home and make truffles for the impending Bridal Shower on Saturday. I got the truffles started and during steps where I had to wait (like for the cream and chocolate mixture to cool) I went off and worked on the quilt.

I had already washed and dried the quilt back multiple times (for shrinkage and to make sure that the bright color will not fade onto the other fabrics if the quilt is washed) so all I had to do was cut it into two panels and sew them together. Simple, right?

Nope. As I said, the fates were trying to kill me.

I carefully put the quilt top out flat. Then I wanted to approximate where to cut the flannel without too much work. I folded it in half across the short side to make one long strip, hoping to see where to cut. I laid it down on top of the quilt, (luckily) all the way to one side. Hey, that’s funny, I thought. It’s not covering the midpoint. So I made some adjustments, and eyeballed it again. Definitely wasn’t covering even half of the quilt. I ran for The Husband’s tape measure. Holy Crap. The length of fabric that I spent 8.50 a yard on with the understanding that it was 43-44 inches wide was ONLY 38 INCHES WIDE. I measured it long ways, just to be sure I didn’t shrink it that much. Nope, still about the same length I bought. This fabric was labeled with a completely different number from reality. (I still have the bolt it came on, so I don’t even have to rely on my shady memory for this fact.)

After a few streams of obscenities made their way from my lips, I tried to regroup. Turns out I barely had enough (thanks to the clerk that threw in that extra six inches or so) to cut it into three panels and change the direction of the seam. Which is really no big deal. However it is a big deal to me that the fabric was not labeled correctly. I tried to call the shop to quasi-complain but they were already closed for the day. I don’t want my money back or anything. I suppose I am worried that others will suffer a worse fate than I when they realize they’ve been shorted. Or maybe I just want an apology. But I feel the need to let them know they screwed up big.

So anyway. The truffles turned out fabulous, and they were a hit at the shower. I got my back panel sewn and the layers are all pinned together and ready for quilting. Now if only I could find my quilting hoop…

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Me and My Conquest

Quilts and Truffles: not smiled on by the fates

Monday night I decided to chocolate cover the truffle centers I made Sunday. I fired up the chocolate tempering machine to start the melting process while getting the kids ready for bed. Once the kids were in bed, I put a splotch of chocolate on some wax paper to see how it set.

So while I waited for that I got out the quilt and sewed on one side border. Woo hoo! I had enough time to do the second border. I eyeballed the thread spool and it looked like enough. So I started. About two feet from the end the bobbin ran out. Sometimes I feel like the fates do not like me crafting stuff.

Back to the truffles. They dipped nicely and looked pretty good. I left them out on the counter to set at bedtime. In the morning…disaster. They all bloomed. I think the dishwasher running in the night got them. Grr. So another whole batch got taken to work for eating.

Today I go to the dentist at lunch so I am hoping to swing by the quilt shop for a new supply of thread on my way back to the office. Tonight I’ll make a batch of truffle centers that are going to get rolled in cocoa. I am out of time to master the tempering thing. Then I hope tomorrow to try some kind of coconut-rolled type truffle. I wonder how small you can chop coconut?

Monday, March 06, 2006

Letting my nerd self shine

The sub-border has been attached. Hurray! Only thing is, I don’t think I have enough thread to finish the real borders. I didn’t think the new spool of thread looked huge but I’ve never gone through a spool that fast before. I guess when I go back to the quilt shop to buy some more I’ll get more than one.

I did go to JoAnn’s to look for more thread on Friday but they didn’t have it. Well, they had the brand but it was polyester and so far I’ve been working with cotton. (Though the Coats & Clark may have been sub-par cotton.)

And speaking of the quilt shop…quilting Tuesday is almost upon us. Next Tuesday will be my first Tuesday quilt night. I am so excited.

And speaking of excited, last night I was reading an old Quilter’s Newsletter that I got out of the library (hey, you know I’m a nerd) and there is a series of classes you can take to get some sort of professional quilter credentials. Holy crap would that be cool. I am sure though that it is expensive and probably not something that would yield a good income. But hey, I can nerd-dream, can’t I?

BTW, one of the other things that makes me nerdy is I love school.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Now I am more than two months behind. The strips for the sub-border on the quilt were too short.