Friday, January 30, 2009

BOM and Mystery Updates.....

I have actually been working on my little challenges.

1) Bonnie Hunter's Double Delight is still in the box but I think about it a lot! LOL It's a lot of cutting so I need to get myself mentally prepared first.

2) The first month of Lynette Anderson's Noah Ark Stitchery has been traced onto the fabric but I am waiting for some downtime in front of the tv to stitch it.

3) A Christmas Wish by Gail Pan is finished so far. I decided to wait until I see all of them before I decide on borders. Can't wait for her next one!

4) Hugs from Helen Mystery Quilt is going great. I have finished Step 1...

AND Step 2

5) A Tisket A Tasket baskets are going nowhere. Those have been put on hold for a while until I get my new sewing area (aka the dining room) set up a little better.

How are all of you doing on yours?

Blessings, Cathi

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It is with great sadness that the sewing room is now closed.....

We all love our kids and we would do just about anything for them. Dear Daughter #2 has to move back home. She was let go from her job back in October, her lease on her apt. is up next week and unemployment runs out in March. So it is with great sadness that I have to pack up my ENTIRE sewing room so she can move back in. Thought I'd share some pictures so I have something to look at over the next few months to a year (who knows!).

Behind the curtain is my tv, dvd player, and shelves with plastic totes of supplies for quilting, scrapbooking and rubber stamping. In the drawers are my finished tops (well only two drawers), scrapbooking supplies and random junk.

Here is most of my wool collection with a few fat quarters thrown in for good measure.

This is a cabinet that Dear Hubby built for me. We built the peg shelf first and stopped it short because I knew exactly what I wanted to go there. It took Dear Hubby several years before he got around to building the cabinet but it looks great there. That will stay.

Above the peg shelf are my cute little boxes of patterns all separated by category (there goes that engineering gene rearing it's ugly head again). I have mason jars filled with buttons (with a lot more buttons to sort in another container) and all of my 3-ring binders for tear files of Christmas, fall, quilt patterns, gardens, house decorating, etc.

Cheri Saffiote-Payne even has her own box with just her patterns!

And the saddest picture of all......imagine this filled top to bottom with fabric. I didn't take a picture before I packed it all up. I had clear totes up on the top shelf of smaller scraps. Dear Daughter #2 brought over some of her massive book collection already to put up on the shelf.

Right now, all of the fabrics and drawers and shelves are packed in rubbermaid containers and stored in Dear Daughter #1's garage until we build a larger storage room or rent a storage building. The books are in our living room on the book shelf that used to have some sort of decorating arrangement to it. Now it's all crammed in there. As for the actual sewing, I have packed up the machine and rulers and gadgets and gizmos like I was headed for a retreat. They will be stored in the corner of the dining room so I can at least throw everything up on the dining room table to sew. I have several projects put together into packets to work on (including the free BOM that I am supposed to be working on!) The cutting boards are stored behind the china cabinet in the dining room.

But I'd do it again in a skinny minute for one of my kids. She is being very humble about all this and feels terrible but also realizes, like the rest of us, that this is the most practical thing to do. She has started taking classes at the local technical school with Dear Son #2 who is also living at home. These two get along great, have the same personality, the same sleeping habits, the same cleanliness habits (none) so it should work out fine.

It kind of reminded me of stories of the Great Depression when families banded together to help each other out. Back in the day, a 2000 sq. ft. house was a mansion. They did a lot more with a lot less. It was just something you did. No reason, no excuses, no trying to logically figure it out.

Hopefully now that all is packed away, I can get back to sewing and post some of that. I only have so many projects so now I can focus on just the few that are accessible and get something done!!!

Blessings, Cathi

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Valentine in all his glory.....

I can't believe it's almost been a week since I posted last. I am pretty busy at work considering the state of our office economy and seem to be having trouble getting computer time at home. Yes, I know it's MY house and MY computer but Dear Son #2 isn't hurting anybody by sitting there for HOURS meeting all of his friends from around the world in the World of Warcraft. I mean, isn't that what us bloggers do, too? I have been reading blogs but not much commenting. And I know I owe some of you some emails. I'll catch up, I promise!

I have so much to talk about but don't want to put it all in one post. I'll have to take it one thing and one day at a time.

Since time is limited today, I'll show you one last look at Valentine in all his glory.

You can't see it in this picture, but baby brother has already started to open. Well, maybe one more picture of him in a few days.......

Blessings, Cathi

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.....

Not one of my favorite movies but a very appropriate title. My husband's gift of taking me away for the weekend turned out great but didn't start too great. The Green Park Inn was such a dissappointment. Let me start out by saying that I understand that it is a 100+ year old hotel that should have some "quirkiness". I know that sometimes doors aren't square with the door jambs and that if it is right on the road that we should expect road noise. I was okay with that. But the customer service was miserable. I'll spare you the details unless you want to leave a post and ask about them. Suffice it to say, we checked out the first morning without a shower, without breakfast, without the massage, the champagne, the roses or the dinner for two.

All turned out in the end. We went to another hotel and had a wonderful weekend. As with the rest of 2/3 of the country, it was bitterly cold. Here is a picture of me outside the Candy Barrel near Mast General Store in 8 degree weather.

We spent the weekend shopping, eating, driving around and looking at the frozen things and eating some more!

We had such a good time and the second hotel was so wonderful, we decided to stay an extra night. We woke up in the morning to this.....

This is the pond outside our hotel room door. Little did we know that this same system was headed to our house!

No, we didn't get the massages somewhere else or anything like that. And we did learn to check hotel reviews on-line before venturing out of the box to someplace different. But it turned out to be a wonderful weekend nevertheless. I wouldn't have changed a thing.

Blessings, Cathi

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Over the hill?? Yeah, that's me.....

Today is my birthday. I am 50. I wanted to get that little tidbit of information out of the way. So far so good. I overslept, couldn't get the car defrosted fast enough, got in a shouting match with a tow truck driver (he couldn't hear me but I really let him have it) and got to work 30 minutes late.

And this is what I found when I got to the office.

I work in an engineering office with mostly boys (yes, boys.....not men). They are all anal retentive, turn the air conditioning down to 20 degrees in the summer, and with the exception of 1 or 2 are all young enough to be my children, but I love them. Today they are taking me to lunch. Whoohoo! Think I may be brave enough to sneak in a margarita. What are they going to do, argue with an old women?

We had a birthday party at the house on Sunday. Dear Kids decorated the living room and gave me a really nice watch.

And we finally remembered to take a family picture. Dear SIL is taking the picture.

My gift from Dear Hubby is a long weekend at Green Park Inn in the North Carolina mountains.....Blowing Rock to be specific.

I have always wanted to go to Green Park Inn. The Boone/Blowing Rock area of the NC mountains is always our favorite "get away for the weekend" destination. It's only 2-1/2 hours from the house so it's even good for a day trip. Driving into Blowing Rock on highway 321, the inn is one of the first things we see. Just about every time we say we will stay there one day. So Dear Hubby surprised me with a weekend away and even got the "pamper package" which includes dinner, champagne, roses, and a swedish massage for both of us. I've never had a massage. Little did we know that this would be the weekend of the coldest weather this area has seen in 5 years!

Well, Happy Birthday to me and a BIG thank you to all of you that have wished me HB already over the past few days. I didn't handle 40 very well. But with all my friends in blogland and beyond and a great family, 50 will be a piece of cake!

Blessings, Cathi

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Valentine may have to change his name.....

Valentine has been growing by leaps and bounds. This is a picture of him yesterday morning.

When I got home from work last night, he had all three buds wide open. And notice another bud right in the middle of the picture! He has a baby brother! I'm so proud of him. Maybe he'll stay around for Valentine's Day.

Blessings, Cathi

Monday, January 12, 2009

I picked the fabrics and am on my way.....

I have picked the fabrics for some of the BOM's.

This is for Bonnie's Double Delight. I am using the tiny green check for the neutral. Isn't green the new neutral? Don't know if there is enough contrast but I love the colors and that's good enough for me.

These are for Helen's Great Summer Holiday Mystery. She has uploaded step #1 already. I cut it out and put it together last night. WOW...I've never been that on top of things. Maybe I can do this. I won't post my blocks yet so that some of you can catch up to me!

And the third one I have already started is Gail's Christmas Wish. I picked out some tea-dyed muslin I had left over from another project. There are only (9) 5-1/2" x 5-1/2" squares in this one. I may have some "tea spots" on some of my blocks but I can live with that. I am trying my embroidery this time with lightweight fusible interfacing behind them. I have known about this technique for quite a while but never did it. So far so good. All nine blocks have the fusible on them so I just need Gail to post the rest! All in good time.

Still not sure about the baskets from Bunny Hill. And Lynette Anderson's Noah's Ark will start next week with my stitching buds. Definitely pictures for that one next week.

Blessings, Cathi

Friday, January 9, 2009

My Cup Runneth Over.....

I don't know WHAT I was thinking but I have signed up for or downloaded 5, yes, F*I*V*E free BOM. So here they are for all the world to see. Yes, you can email or comment to ask me how they are coming along. I may even post pictures once in a while. I can't guarantee that they will be done each month or even that you will get a polite response back LOL. But I'm going to give it my best shot. Two are piecing, two are stitchery and one is applique. If you want to join in, that would be great. Officially, I am behind in all of them (ie: I haven't started any of them yet) but all the directions are downloaded and printed out.

Number #1 - Bonnie Hunter's Double Delight

Bonnie's is a mystery quilt so I can't show you a picture and she didn't have an icon so I posted the picture she had of the colors she used. Bonnie has the greatest free quilt patterns that use up scraps. You can find her at

Number #2 - Lynette Anderson's Noah's Ark BOM

Lynette is a great Aussie quilt and stitchery designer. She has posted 10 of the 12 blocks. I plan on working on these with Teresa at Stitchin' Friends, Carol and Cheryl starting in two weeks. This one has a chance of being finished.

Number #3 - Gail Pan Designs' A Christmas Wish

I don't have a picture for this one because she doesn't have an icon that I can copy. But this one is the cutest stitchery BOM. It is 9 months long. It just started this month and should be finished by the end of September, just in time to put it together for Christmas. Gail is another designer from "down under" that combines stitcheries and piecing.

Number #4 - A Mystery Quilt from Helen at Hugs n Kisses

Another Aussie designer that started this summer mystery quilt. Remember, it is summer down under. Wish it was a little warmer here myself! This one is pieced. I love piecing!

Number #5 - Bunny Hill Designs' A Tisket A Tasket, 12 Months Full of Baskets

I'm not sure I will do this one because I really like more primitive stuff. But the first block they have posted is absolutely adorable. I may try it in darker colors. This one is applique. While I can do applique, I find it to slow to prepare all the pieces. I am practicing several applique techniques right now on another small project to see which one I like the best. If I find a winner, I'll tackle this small BOM.

There they all are......wish me luck!

Blessings, Cathi

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

12 Days of Christmas.....

This past Christmas season I tried something new with my family. I decided to focus more on the "reason for the season" and settle with the 12 Days of Christmas. Every day from December 26 until this morning, I gave each of my 4 (grown) kids and Dear Hubby a gift. If you do the math, that is 60 gifts! Good thing I started collecting gifts back in July. Some were only a $1 at the Dollar spot section of Target.....some were as much as $5.00. Each was put in a white lunch sack with a note stapled to the front about a different meaning for each day. Something I got off the internet. Each bag was stamped with their initial and a star(s) for the number of day it was.

I had a lot of fun collecting the goodies. Suprisingly all the kids (ages 19-29) and Dear Hubby really enjoyed it. Even the boys! Dear Son #1 went back to his home with all 12 bags in tow and told me he did not cheat by opening all of them at once.

Blessings, Cathi

Monday, January 5, 2009

Remember Valentine?.....

It's been a month since I talked about Valentine. He is still alive and growing. I was really worried for a while that he just didn't like me. Here is a much newer picture of him.

He started out like this back in November. I think he is 6 weeks old. Maybe he will bloom before Valentine's Day

Here is post #2

And post #3

Blessings, Cathi

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year.....

I'm back from taking a much-needed computer break. Sometimes I spend too much time on the computer and don't get much done. Considering I spend all day at work on the computer....well, it can just wear a girl down.

Christmas went well, albeit it much smaller than past years. Two of my four children are unemployed right now. My job is in jeopardy due to the economy so we decided to cut way back this year. But it was still nice. We are all healthy and happy and I can't ask for more than that.

But I did finish the snowman wall hanging. Okay, all but the binding. But it is so close, that I'm considering it finished. I'll put the binding on this weekend. I still have to finish putting away Christmas and do a little cleaning. But after that it's back to the sewing room!

Blessings, Cathi