Friday, December 31, 2010

10 years in review

Not really.  Like everyone else, I've had some ups and some downs.  I do however, remember where I was Jan 1, 2000.  I went to Walmart and used my debit card to prove that Y2K wasn't the end of the world.  This year, I'm being visited by my 3 1/2 month old granddaughter.  We're having our first slumber party so her Mom & Dad can go out.  We're going to have so much fun!

Last year, I made two New Year's resolutions.  They lasted until summer.  What can I say?!  This year I wasn't going to make any resolutions but I think I'll make one.  I'm going to try to finish the 501 Quilt Block Project.  So far, I've made 122 blocks from Judy Hopkins' book, '501 Rotary-Cut Quilt Blocks'.  I think the remainder is a reasonable and achievable goal.  The remaining blocks have many more pieces and/or require some templates.  I've done most of the easy blocks.  Now I'll find out just how accurate my cutting and piecing are.

These are some of the blocks I've done.  The others have been worked into quilts, wall hangings, table toppers or given away.

some blocks 2010

Hope you have a happy and safe New Year.

--  Pat  --


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Know what this is?

It's the "I bought it last summer for the balcony, that I had to water every day because it needed re-potting but I didn't want to do it because I didn't have room for it in the apartment for the winter so I let it stay on the balcony to live until it dies so I can throw it away without feeling guilty for tossing it out but I don't want to toss it out now because maybe it'll come back in the spring since I don't know what it is anyway" plant.

Hope you had a good day.

--  Pat  --

Monday, December 27, 2010

Great Christmas!

I spent Christmas day with my daughter and family.  The kids loved their quilts!  Yay!  They spent some time cuddled under them watching a Christmas movie and later used them to lug all their toys upstairs.

the quilt that can't be shown

Christmas 2010

We played games on the oldest granddaughter's new XBox.  I tried it but it was a little too physical (and required more coordination) than I'm used to.

I received a gift card to Amazon so that I could buy books and games for my Kindle.  Needless to say, I couldn't wait to use it.  These are the things I've bought so far:

I bought this on a whim.  I've never been very good at Monopoly but I'm hooked now.  I won my first game against an intermediate computer opponent.  It goes pretty fast when you don't have to physically handle the bank.

I played this game once so far.  It's an old standby for me.  It doesn't require a lot of thinking.

I'm not very good at this one.  You have to make words out of letters.  You can't advance to the next level until you use all the letters in one word.  You get points for all the words you create along the way.  This one requires some concentration. (at least for me)

I haven't played this one yet.  I've only played the card game a few times.  I'll be interested to see how well I do with this media.

And Scrabble is my all-time favorite game.  Although I haven't tried this one yet.

I also purchased some new books.  I love that the Kindle Store allows you to download a sample of the book to read before purchasing the whole book.  It's especially nice when they're by authors you've never heard of.  I've bought all the books I've sampled with the exception of one.  Here are my new books:

My favorite books are mystery/thrillers.  Since I purchased the Kindle a few weeks ago, I've read four books.  Needless to say, I haven't spent a lot of time sewing/quilting.  Here are two blocks I finished before Christmas.

left:  Ladies Wreath    right:  Louisiana
I've got about 8 blocks in this color scheme and I'm getting a little tired of it.  I think it's time to move on to some other colors.

Now I have so many choices for entertainment, it's had to choose just one.  I'm certainly never bored.

We're in the middle of a blizzard, much like the rest of you.  I'm glad I live in New England where we're more prepared.  And of course, today I'm glad I don't have to go out in it.  Tomorrow and Wednesday, I commute an hour each way to babysit my youngest granddaughter.  I've wondered how things would be this winter.  I guess we're about to find out.

Hope this finds everyone 'fat & happy' having enjoyed a great Christmas.  Here's to a wonderful New Year.

--  Pat  --

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

We believed in giving homely trees a home at Christmas

Years ago, this was the 'excuse' we used for some pretty sad Christmas trees.  In the beginning and for most of the years the  kids were growing up, we had a real tree.  I'm getting ready to scan photos from our 'old'  photo albums from when the kids were young and came across these.  They're not scanned, only photographed for this blog entry.  These are but a few of our trees.

This was our very first tree.  It looked so beautiful out in the woods -  not so much when we got it home.  The yarn and garland was supposed to fill in the blank parts.  What you can't see is that the back is completely bare.  All the decorations were given to us by my boss who was upgrading his.

This was pretty much the best tree we ever had.  Supposedly it blew across our road from a nearby tree lot.  I'm not so sure now.  I was pretty gullible in those days.

This is probably the first year my then 4 year old daughter and I strung popcorn.  We also glued glitter to cans and hung them like bells from the arch between the livingroom and this room.  It was a 'homemade' Christmas.

This is one of the ones we had when the kids were about 12 and 8 yrs old.  A little sparse huh?

So as you can see, we really did believe in giving a homely tree a home at Christmas.

Hope you have a good day.

--  Pat  --

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Foto Finish - Red

Today is Foto Finish day.  I've been so busy wrapping presents and visiting that I couldn't get to my blog before now.  The theme this week is 'RED'.  Here's my entry:

Very appropriate for the season, huh?  Would you believe these are artificial?

For more entries, check out:   Cat Patches Foto Finish

Hope you're having a good weekend.

--  Pat  --

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I gave in...

It's been 11 years since I've had a full size Christmas tree.  I've had a little 2 ft fiber optic tree and have been happy with that until this year.  I'm not sure if I'm in the spirit because my family is here or that I made most of my Christmas presents or that I've been babysitting my granddaughter and her house is so festive, but this year I'm not content with my little tree.  So today, I bought a 6 ft. artificial tree, lights, garland and blue and silver balls.  I had to go to 3 stores before I found indoor tree lights.  And it took two tries to get the lights on correctly.  I think I'll put a note in the box to remind me next time.  Here's my tree:

Notice Ginger on the arm of the couch checking it out.


Doesn't it look festive?  I didn't buy a tree skirt because I plan to make one.  I don't know if I'll try to do that this year or not.  For now, I'm using my snowman lap quilt.  I plan to add other ornaments (handmade and novelty) one at a time but probably not this year.  Notice my little tree.  I didn't realize it was so small.  I had to give Ginger a little scolding for rustling a branch and barking at it.  She seems to have settled in now though.  

I finished another two blocks and my first tissue cover.  

left:  Janet's Star    right:  Kansas Trouble
I had some trouble with the Kansas Trouble block.  It's a little 'off'.  I'm not sure where I made my mistake.  I'll have to try the block again sometime.  

The tissue cover came out a little looser than I thought it should.  I'm sure it's my mistake.  I don't think I took a deep enough seam when I squared off the corners.  I have two others already cut and sewn except for the side seams and corners.  I'll have to experiment some. (or at least pay attention to the instructions!)

Have a good evening.

--  Pat  --

Today's the day...

As promised, it's Thursday morning (very early).  Time to award the prizes for my giveaway.

Winner of prize #1:      Integrity Singer

12 inch blocks

Winner of prize #2:       Happy Cottage Quilter

12 inch blocks

Winner of prize #3:    C Dawn's bucket

4 inch blocks

Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to everyone who participated.

Winners send me you mailing address and I'll get those prizes out to you.

Have a good day.

--  Pat  --

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Don't forget

my GIVEAWAY.  Only 2 more sleeps until the drawing (and I see my daughter).  Yay!

Monday, December 13, 2010

I love snowmen

Yesterday the title for the post was 'It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas' but didn't show any Christmas or winter pictures.  Wierd huh?  Today, I have pictures of the snowman items I bought and wrote about yesterday.

This is the window art Snowman.  Doesn't he look cool?  It looks like I've made a snowman out on the balcony but actually he's a stick-on on the inside glass.

These are the snowman picture frames.

This is the kitchen towel.

And this is today's block:

Hill and Valley
I had to get a little creative with the fabrics.  The small triangles were from the same fabric I've used in some of the recent blocks but I made a mistake when I cut the larger ones and had to do them over.  I didn't have enough of that same fabric so I chose a similar one. (I guess if I didn't tell you, you'd never know, huh?)  I'm going to see if I can work all those fabrics into the next block.  It may change the design some but I don't want any large scraps left over if I can help it.

Now here's some things I've been wondering about:

1) When do you use the word 'photo' as opposed to 'picture'?  I'm never sure which one to use.

2) How long does it take you to write a blog post?  Do you free write then go back and edit?  Do you spend a lot of time worrying about grammar and spelling?   Have you realized that you don't remember 'all the little rules' as well as you used to?

Pioneer Woman has her 'Mean Ol' Schoolmarm' posts.  Maybe I should submit these questions to her.

Hope you had a good day.

--  Pat  --

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I got up early this morning and skidded over to Walmart (only about 1 mile away), bought some snowman wall/window art, two snowman picture frames and a snowman dish towel then skidded back.  I had no idea that the road was so slippery.  Later it warmed up and was just wet.  I put up the items and things are looking a lot more festive.

I spent most of the day catching up on my magazines, reading blogs and watching movies.  Thank goodness for Netflix.

I cut out and sewed two more blocks.  Here they are:

left:  Farm Friendliness    right:  Flying Geese II
Hope you had a good day.

--  Pat  --

Saturday, December 11, 2010

My camera

This summer I replaced my 10 year old Sony Cyber-shot with a new Sony Cyber-shot.  This new one is so much smaller, takes much better pictures and is easier to upload to my computer.  Most of the time, I post them right out of the camera. Occasionally, after it's taken, I'll let the software autoadjust or I'll fiddle with the exposure or crop it but that's pretty much it.  Because of the camera's size I can put it in my pocket or pocketbook with ease.  I find myself taking pictures of things I didn't with my old camera.  Today, I took photos of my snowman collection and my latest snowman purchase.  Enjoy!

I found this quilt last week at Walmart.  It was a steal!  I just couldn't resist.  The pillowcases I made a couple of weeks ago match it perfectly.

I love their faces and their cute little noses.

Today I was able to get back to the '501 Project'.  Here are two blocks I completed:

left:  Acrobats    right:  Air Castle
Don't you just love these colors together?  I actually have two of the 'Acrobats' block.  They will be 12.5 inches finished and the 'Air Castle' will be 12 inches finished.   In the book, there are cutting instructions for a variety of block sizes.  I like to do 12 or 12.5 inch blocks - whatever the instructions provide.  When I started the project back awhile ago, I'd spend a couple of days cutting out blocks, labeling and setting them aside.  Then after I had 10 or so ready, I'd sew them all together.  I found that a little tedious and a little boring.  So now, I'm cutting a block and sewing it before moving on to the next block. More 'instant' gratification this way.

Hope you had a good day.

--  Pat  --

Foto Finish - Trees

Trees are the theme for this week's Foto Finish.  I wondered all week what I'd choose.  It could have been my little 18" fiber optic tree or the wallhanging I just finished or the naked trees in my front yard but I decided on these instead:

I don't shop much so I don't really know what's out there on the market but I thought you could only get trees in green, silver or white.  I guess I'm wrong.  I found these displayed at Borders Bookstore when I shopped there the other day.  Fortunately, I've started carrying my camera in my pocketbook (what's one more thing?!)

To see other photos, pop on over to Cat Patches.

Have a good weekend.

--  Pat  --

Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy Scrappy Christmas!

I finished the wall hanging for my daughter today.   I'm happy with the way it came out.  It truly is 'scrappy'.

Can't wait to give it to her. (next week!)  Yay!

Have a great evening!

--  Pat  --

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I didn't want to...

--  go to the post office -- but I did.  There was only one person in line ahead of me as opposed to Tuesday when there were 15 people ahead.

-- go to the book store -- but I did.  I found most of the books I wanted for Christmas gifts.

-- go Christmas shopping -- but I did.  Not very successful.  I only have two more things to buy.  I'll have to try again.

-- quilt the wallhanging -- but I'm doing it.  My daughter called me up the day after I posted the picture and asked if she could have it.  Of course I said yes.  She loves the 'scrappy' look of it.  I actually started quilting it on Tuesday morning but Tuesday and Wednesday are my babysitting days so I don't get much done.

Here's the photo of my dog, wishing I'd get away from the sewing machine and sit with her.  As I type, she's sleeping next to me in the chair.

Poor thing.  She gets so lonesome when I'm gone.

Reminder to you:   Don't forget about my giveaway.  I really enjoy meeting new people.

Reminder to me:    Draw the winners Thursday, Dec 16th.  (I actually put it on my calendar - I forget everything if it's not written down.)

Hope you had a good day.

--  Pat  --

Monday, December 6, 2010

My first giveaway

December 15th, my daughter and her family will be moving back to NH after living away for a very, very long time.  To celebrate that, I'm giving away the following blocks to three winners.

Prize #1 - Seven 12" blocks - red, white, blue

Prize #2 - Six 12" blocks - dark brown, off white

Prize #3 -   Eleven  4" blocks - various colors

To enter, just leave a comment.  Anonymous entries will be eliminated.  If you're a 'noreply' blogger, be sure to leave a way for me to contact you.  Winners will by chosen Thursday morning, Dec. 16.

Hope you had a good day.  Happily piecing!

-- Pat --

Learning about myself...

Over the past few months, I've discovered something about myself.  I don't like making quilts.  What?!  Blasphemy you say?!  I'll make them but I don't really like to.

In June (or thereabouts), I purchased this book:

I decided I wanted to make every block in the book.  (hence my blog name)  I was going merrily along when quite a few people began asking what I planned to do with the blocks.  Plan to do with them?  I hadn't thought about it but began to feel as though I should turn them into quilts or something useful.  So, with the exception of quilts for Christmas presents, I've tried to work the blocks into quilts.  I've liked the end result but what I really like is making blocks.  And not the same one.  I like making different blocks.  This discovery was reinforced when I took a look at the resources I've purchased or won over the past months.  They are:

There are a few others but you get the idea.  The thrill for me is choosing the fabrics, piecing the block and striving for the perfect points, matching seams etc. etc.

I want to make all the blocks in these books and software.  A HUGE goal.  But what fun it will be!  What will I do with the blocks?  I haven't a clue.  Save them or give them away.  Whatever.  But it's the blocks I enjoy making.

That being said, I created a Christmas (banner? wall hanging? lap throw? table topper?).  I haven't decided how I'm going to finish it yet.

Happy Scrappy Christmas

Hope you have a good day!  Happily Piecing!

-- Pat --