Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Shop Hop - Tiny Stitches

After a great lunch at Williams Bros. Bar-b-que directly across the street from Little Quilts, we continued our "hopping" to Tiny Stitches .  When I read in the Shop Hop passport that their theme was"Read Me A Story", I knew I would like their decor. Maetha, the shop owner, was in character as the Princess from the Princess and the Pea. We were given the block directions to make their Shop Hop Quilt plus a bit of fabric,  a charm and the pattern to make a pincushion.


After getting our passports stamped and registering for their door-prize, we were treated to chocolate chip cookies (my favorite) and lemonade. Yum:)
Melinda, who works and teaches at the shop is also a blogger. I have enjoyed her blog Creations by Melinda for several years. It was a pleasure talking with her. She even showed me a new way to do some applique. She referred to it as Eleanor Burn's method. It looks like a technique that I will like.

Here is another version of Pat Wys' Strawberry Pie pattern. Isn't it awesome? This pattern is like Yellow Brick Road, Sassy Sixteen or Turning Twenty. It looks so very different depending on fabric choices.

I found some neat fabric at Tiny Stitches. These indigo prints should help with the shortage of  dark blues for my blue and white Strawberry Pie. The blacks and whites are again for a future project. The fusible interfacing is to try the Eleanor Burn's method of applique.

Shop Hop - Little Quilts

Lions, and tigers, and bear, oh my!  It was a circus (or zoo) at Little Quilts on Saturday morning. We drove from Conyers to Marietta in the very worse of the rainstorm. We bravely drove the interstate highways of Atlanta to get there! Brenda from The Quilting Cowgirl blog met us at Little Quilts. While in the shop, Brenda and I were magically transformed into circus performers. There have been many times in my years in a school media center that I've felt like we were operating a Three Ring Circus. Now, I have a photo to go with "our" circus. 

Little Quilts' Shop Hop Quilt is behind the cash register. Shop owner, Mary Ellen and her employees were all dressed as clowns. That's Gretchen and her Mom, Joette, finalizing their purchases with Muriel.

This is Star Gazing one of Pat Wys' Silver Thimble Quilts Patterns hanging in the shop. Stunning quilt, don't you agree? I wanted to take this quilt home with me.

I located quite a few shirting fabrics for my 16 Patches and Pinwheel Quilt (quilt in waiting) The blue fabric was not really on my list. Confession time:)  I was thinking that I would purchase some of the brown fabric that I used in the Neutral Quilt for my SIL. I have plenty of neutrals left from that project. This blue fabric from the same line as the brown insisted on coming home with me. 

Little Quilts was packed with quilts, projects, fabric, stitchery. It's a super quilt shop. It's probably a good thing that it's on the other side of the metro Atlanta from my home. It's one dangerous place :)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Shop Hop.- Sweet Home

Saturday morning in the middle of rainstorm, Gretchen, her Mom Joette and I took off in my car to visit several of the shops on the Greater Atlanta Shop Hop. Our first stop was Sweet Home Quilt Shop in Conyers, our favorite shop in town. The shop was decorated like Grandma's House. Doesn't Melisa, the shop owner, look stylish in her vintage finds?

Each shop designed a block and quilt for the Shop Hop. I just love the black, white and green quilt at Sweet Home. The quilt was stunning. My photo doesn't bring that out.

Here is Strawberry Pie by Pat Wys. I currently have a blue and white version of this quilt on my Finish It Up List.

I tried to stick to my "shop hop list." I didn't deviate too badly. The black with white prints are for a future project. I'm hoping to get to it this Srping. The shirtings are also for a future project. The green flannels are for a Rag Quilt for my Michael to take to college. His school colors are navy and hunter green. I was out of Retayne to use in pre-washing fabric. Sweet Home looked fabulous with the samples, kits, and vintage decorations. Melisa and her staff did a wonderful job! Looking at the photos makes me want to rush back to the shop!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Reflecting on Shop Hop Purchases

The Greater Atlanta Shop Hop began today. The earliest that I will be able to visit any of the shops is probably Saturday.  My first Atlanta Shop Hop was in 2004. My friend Judy invited me to join a group including  her MIL and MIL's friend. We took personal leave from our schools on Thursday, the first day of the shop hop. We visited 8 of the 10 shops that first day. We started very early in the morning, ate lunch in the car and didn't stop until late that evening. At that first Shop Hop, I began my practice of shopping for specific projects. That first Shop Hop I shopped for pink fabric, beige fat quarters and dog prints. My stepson's wife loved mauve. I was in the beginning stages of planning a quilt for her. I also collected dogs prints even though we  did not have a dog at that time. I did complete one of these projects. The dog quilt is still a UFO. I probably have enough dog fabric for 2 or 3 quilts.

The next year, I didn't have a plan until I walked into Stitch 'N Quilt. Their Shop Hop Quilt in black and white had me mesmerized. I didn't think that I liked or wanted a black and white quilt. This quilt changed that opinion. I only visited a handful of shops that year, but I did purchase black and white fabrics at each shop. I never even cut this quilt out (which is probably a good thing) I still have my black and white fabrics. I have another quilt in mind. A quilt that is close to the top of the new project list.

The next year, Debbie and Gretchen joined me in my van on the Saturday of SH. We had a wonderful day. Lots of laughing, talking and buying of fabric! A quilt in the December 2005 McCall's Quilting magazine was "Yelling" at me. At many of the  shops we visited, I purchased some of Moda's Wuthering Heights collection. I again ended with enough fabric for not one, but two quilts. One of the quilts is currently on our bed. 

With the extra fabric, I made the Strawberry Pie pattern by Pat Wys of Silver Thimble Company. This quilt actually now belongs to Pat. It is in her truck show and has been to Quilt Market. I also located the perfect flannel to match the backing of my Christmas Toile Quilt on this shopping trip.

In 2007, we filled my van with wonderful quilting friends - Gretchen, Pat, Brenda, Debbie and me. I knew at that time that I was transfering to my new elementary school, Mulberry Elementary. I found a pattern online called Mulberry Bush by Acorn Quilts Pattern Company. This trip with the help of my shopping buddies, I collected the fabric for my Mulberry quilt. It currently lives in my Mulberry Elementary Media Center.

Last year, Pat, Debbie and I attended Bonnie Hunter's Workship, but we managed a side trip to Little Quilts. I found neutrals for my sister-in-law's neutral quilt. On Friday of Shop Hop, I made a trip to Sweet Home to visit Melisa and Mike. I found border fabric and other neutral prints there.

Now, I'm sure you might be wondering why I'm writing about previous shop hops. You got it right. I'm trying to justify the fabric that I'm planning to purchase this year :) I have a new project in mind with the black and white fabric that I haven't used yet. I NEED more black with white prints.  

Actually, my Shop Hop record is not so bad, only 2 unfinished projects. Wish my record was this good on all my shopping trips :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Celebrate - Books

It's that time - Book Fair in an elementary school. After twenty years of doing book fairs, it's not that much fun anymore, EXCEPT the kids absolutely love it. I'm always taken in by their excitement and passion for reading. Here is the "Clifford" truck as the delivery guy called it in front of my school.
The book fair is delivered in rolling cases filled  
with books plus additional boxes of books to put on display. After several grueling hours with the help of volunteers, the library media center becomes a book store.

Perhaps, my favorite activity at a book fair is giving away books on our morning announcements. I have teachers send me the names of students who are really working hard to improve in their academic work and/or just need a positive something to happen. These students get to select a free paperback book at the book fair. The excitement and wonder on their faces makes the week-long hardwork worth it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Walk With Rusty

Sunday, the weather was just about perfect here in the metro Atlanta area. Trees and bushes are just short of bursting with color and flowers. After giving Rusty a bath, monthly flea medication, and cutting his nails,  his reward was a walk in the neighborhood.

Flowers needed sniffing. 

He really wanted only a stroll around our cul-de-sac. I thought it would be good for both of us to stretch our legs for a longer walk. You can tell from his body language that Rusty had enough of getting my attention (bath, flea stuff, nails, too long walk)
Finally, he made his point. Enough of this fun!

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Cleaning Fairy

The cleaning fairy was at my house today. I went to work and came home to a clean house.  It was rather like having elves here today. I've been fighting a losing battle with getting the house clean. It just wasn't all getting done on the weekend. I'd do a bit and then decide to answer  the call from my "sewing machine".  It's hard to believe that this is my house with everything done. I'll have to cut back my expenses in some area, but we're keeping Renee, our cleaning fairy for a bit. This is my part to stimulate the economy.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Quilt Shop Grand Opening

Today was the Grand Opening Celebration at our newest quilt shop, Patchwork Cottage in Lawrenceville. Quilt designer extraordinaire, Pat Sloan was at the shop to help launch the celebration. The shop has Pat's new line of fabric Arabella as well as some of her Sweetbriar line. The quilt in the background is Pat's new pattern "A Secret Garden" using her Arabella fabric.It was fun visiting with Pat. Pat's blog was the first blog that I followed and read religiously. She spoke at the Gwinnett Quilter's Guild several years back. I took time off from school to attend her lecture at the guild event. I've followed her blog and numerous Yahoo Groups since then. 

It was great fun visiting, eating, and shopping. There were quite a few ladies there that I had not seen in a bit - Jane V., Linda K., Marty M., Jayne B.   Lots of fun!

Look at the fun bag that was given to the first 50 shoppers. I think I was number 49. Of course, Rusty has to check out everything on "his" sofa. I purchased some light prints for the 16 Patch and Pinwheels project. I don't have what I need for that upcoming project. The navy print is for a project in "the plastic boxes." I looked at it the other day. It could use a couple more indigo pieces.

Friday, March 20, 2009

National Quilting Day

Saturday is National Quilting Day. How will you celebrate this most favorite holiday? My quilting club  The Silver Thimble Club meets tomorrow from 10 to 3. I plan to sew and sew and sew. I cut the binding for two quilts. The quilts are at the long-arm quilter, but I want to have the binding ready to attach when they are quilted.  I also cut some 10 inch flannel squares and batting for a rag quilt. I chose blue and tan flannel from my fabric stash. I dont' have alot of flannel, but I've been mentally planning this quilt for several years. My plan is to donate this quilt to the Gwinnett Quilter's Guild's Just for You service project. These quilts are donated to children who are in the hospital with serious illnesses. The guild collects several hundred quilts each year. I want to make one for an older child, especially an older teen boy. This quilt will also be easy to sew while we talk, laugh and have a great time.

Sunday, Patchwork Cottage will have it's grand opening. Patchwork Cottage is our newest quilt shop. It opened in early Febrary. Mita, the owner, has invited Pat Sloan to help celebrate her grand opening. I'm hoping to spend some time at the shop visiting with Pat and enjoying the new shop. Well, maybe I'll do a little shopping:)
 It sounds like great fun.

Update on Marion

Marion is improving slowly and steadily. He has  survived  with me giving him his antibiotics in the Picc line. He saw both his internist and the infectuous disease doctor this week. They seem to think that bacteria got in his system at the site of the pneumonia shot. They suspected the vaccine was contaminated, but that has been ruled out. Marion was able to go back to work today. He missed two weeks of work. He worked most of the day, but did come home a bit early. He is beginning to cook again which is a great sign. We survived on my cooking, but cooking is his creative release so this is great! It's been a freaky event, but luckily we have such great medical care. It's wonderful to have him "almost" back to normal.

Check This One Off

Yahoo! I finished sewing the shirts down on Michael's T-shirt quilt. I've been working a bit each night trying to get it completed. The next step is to have it quilted by a machine quilter. I pieced the backing earlier so it's really ready to go. There are lots of t-shirts on it, more than I wanted, but Michael is thrilled with it. That's what matters most. Lots of good memories with this one!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fall Festival Find

Yes, I know it's almost Spring, but it was at the Fall Festival that I found this treasure --- this wonderful old quilt book, Scrap Quilts: The Art of Making Do by Roberta Horton. I absolutely fell in love with this quilt:

There is just the picture and how it uses scraps. It's made from many colors and what looks like shirting fabrics. There are no instructions in how to make this quilt. I'm pretty good at following directions in a pattern, but haven't any real desire to design or sketch designs. I dont' EQ; although once I retire I think I'd like to learn EQ.

I was thrilled to discover a free pattern for this design.   Bonnie Hunter  at www.quiltville.com has written instructions called 
Mary Johnson at www.maryquilts.com has a smaller version of the quilt called 16 Patch and Pinwheels.   

I'm thrilled to have found both of these patterns. I've printed them off and am ready to start hunting through my scraps and stash for the right fabrics. When I find myself on the road  to Sweet Home Quilt Shop or on the Atlanta Shop Hop later this month, I can look for fabric for  my 16 Patch and Pinwheel quilt.

Don't you just love planning a new quilt?

Time to sew on Michael's T-shirt quilt so that I will be able to work on another project soon.  (Photo of quilt from Bonnie Hunter's website)

Monday, March 16, 2009

At My Sewing Machine

T-shirt quilts! I've been inundated with T-shirt quilts. I'm on my last one, I hope. This T-shirt quilt is for my son who will graduate from high school this May. The pile of T-shirts in the above picture are the shirts that Did Not make the quilt. I've been saving Michael's T-shirts since he was in kindergarten. We had plenty of shirts to choose for his quilt. The shirts were stored in a drawer in  my sewing room. I'll bundle these for Goodwill. That will free up a drawer for other "treasures."

These are the shirts that were cut and prepared, but did not make the final quilt. These shirts are rather, like the film on the "cutting-room floor." Don't panic.  Most of them were some sort of duplicate. You know that I wouldn't discard the LSU National Championship shirt or a Rugrat shirt without having an LSU shirt and a Rugrats shirt in his quilt. We have Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and lots of video game characters, too.

Last week (after a week's delay because of Marion's complications), I brought the the shirts and the quilt background to school. My wonderful art teacher again assisted me with arranging the shirts. She was so helpful in making sure that the colors flowed and that the shapes were balanced.

 I've started sewing the shirts to the background. It's rather like quilting a quilt. It's bulky, heavy and filled with pins. It's not the easiest top to put together, but I'm making progress. I'm listening to Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs on my Ipod which helps keep me motivated.

Here's a sneak preview of what Michael's quilt will it is look like. I probably put too many t-shirts, but Michael is attracted to the shirts, not the overall balance of the quilt. Every night, I'm sewing about an hour or so trying to get this completed so that I can get it quilted. I'll post of picture when the top is finished.

Even though I'm "over"  this project, my son is anxious to have it on his bed. That makes it all worth every little bit of time and effort.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Before he was discharged from the hospital on Monday evening, this is what my husband’s arm looked like. Each day, the nurses circled the red area on his arm. Monday morning, an infectious disease doctor examined him. He said that the antibiotics should have taken care of the infection within 24 hours. He seems to think that the vaccine was contaminated. He is recalling the vaccine that was used. A Picc line was inserted into Marion's other arm. He will continue to receive the antibiotic intravenously and orally now that he is home. When we were told that home health care would visit us on Tuesday, we assumed they would be giving him his medication. Imagine our surprise when she informed us that she would teach me to give him his medication. We put on laytex gloves and she proceeded to teach me the librarian how to administer a drug intravenously. We sat at the kitchen table. Rusty thought we were eating so he kept barking at us. Much to his disgust, we put Rusty in the backyard. While I was doing one part of the procedure, the oven timer went off. We had to have the home health lady take the cornbread out of the oven. Marion wanted corn bread for supper. Of course, I had her write the steps down for me. I’m usually pretty good at following written instructions. All my nurse friends, please be on stand-by around 6:00 tonight, just in case I need a tutorial. While Marion was having his blood pressure checked, our friend Kathy came to visit. Of course, Rusty is back in the house by then, barking up a storm. It was like a zoo. The best news is that the antibiotics seem to be working. Marion is at home and resting. He is watching his TV programs and setting his own pace. He can’t return to work until the end of next week. He is very glad to be home and sleeping in his own bed, resting in his own recliner and eating “my” cooking.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

You Just Never Know...

You just never know what life is planning. My husband went for his annual physical on Tuesday. Because he has a problem with bronchitis, his doctor offered him a pneumonia shot. It was bothering him Tuesday. His arm hurt at the injection site. Wednesday evening he began running fever. Again, he was coughing some, so we assumed that he was starting with his normal bronchitis.  Thursday morning, we looked at his arm. There was a big red circle. He was also definitely running a high fever. He saw the doctor Thursday morning. His temperature was 103. He called me at school for me to pick him up at the doctor's office and bring him to the hospital emergency room (Northside Hospital). Because he has had bypass surgery they were being very cautious. That was Thursday. Here it is Saturday and he is still in the hospital.  We truly expected to be there just one night. We are blessed with excellent health-care. The doctors are checking all possible causes for the fever and his "cellulitis" in his arm. Last night, his doctor felt like his infection was not a reaction from the pnemonia shot, but bacteria that had gotten into the area of the injection. We remembered that not only had he gone for a physical on Tuesday, but he had a regular visit at the dentist for his teeth to be cleaned. They are now checking his arm for an absess and another lung x-ray. He is coughing lots. Poor dear, he is bored and sick of being in the hospital. Because Marion was doing so good yesterday (he had a shower, shaved, walked the halls with his IV poll) I continued with plans to take our Son for Springfest at the university that he will attend in the Fall. Michael and I had a fabulous day at Georgia College. The weather was perfect. He learned more about his course of study, opportunities that are available, registered for classes, registered for his dormitory room plus explored some extra activities and opportunities. We are taking a little break and then will head back to the hospital to visit with Marion. I'm finally brining him his sleepers and robe. Each morning we've felt like he was coming home so we haven't bothered.  Say a little prayer that whatever is causing his infection and coughing that medications will get him over the worst. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Ground Breaking

Our family belongs to a church with a huge congregation. I'm not a numbers person so any figure I would quote would be wrong. I do know that at holidays, Easter and Christmas, three masses are said in different parts of the building. The past couple of years, much deliberation, research, prayer and fund-raising has occured about our worship space. A decision was made to build a new sanctuary. Today, was the ground-breaking ceremony and blessing. I've never been part of a new building project. We've always been part of well-established churches. It's rather exciting. No religious organization is perfect. We're dealing with lots of personalities in any place. It will be interesting to see this building project develop, another new  experience.