Sunday, January 30, 2011

When Everything Goes to Hell

If you recall my last post, I was lamenting the gray, winter weather.  Whining apparently pays off.  My Texas cousins came and instituted a rescue.  Sunshine, fun, and the occasional margarita are all to be found just 6 hours south of Newton.  Balm for a droopy soul.

Unfortunately, the joy was short-lived.  My 88 year old grandfather has been hospitalized with an increasingly dire prognosis.  He is scheduled for surgery tomorrow.  How this all turns out is anybody's guess.  The events leading us to this point are akin to a slow motion car wreck.

My apologies for disappearing and not keeping up with your blogs.  Unfortunately, I don't expect that situation to change anytime in the near future.  Hope you are all doing well.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Monday Miscellaneous


A good portion of North America can look out their own front doors and see this sight.  My Arizona relatives are the exception.  They delight in describing sitting on their patio in their shorts--the lucky bastards.  (Is my envy obvious?)  I always tell myself that weather like this makes for good quilting opportunities.  But just as the snow blankets the ground, it blankets my enthusiasm as well.

I feel like a weenie for whining about our normal winter weather given that Mother Nature just saw fit to drown a section of Australia twice the size of Texas, and yet here I am doing it anyway.

I have to admire quilters like Karen at Quilts...Etc. who continues to quilt with vigor throughout all of the seasons and even a car accident.  Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict is also incredibly prolific.  Most of her quilts go to charity.

So this Monday, if you want to see some quilty eye-candy, I suggest visiting these two blogs.  Me?  I'm going to the liquor store.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Into the Pillowcase-Making Fray

I've been admiring the custom-made pillowcases that have been making an appearance on various blogs lately, thinking that they look like they would be fun to make. So I was really glad when an opportunity, in the form of a young cousin's birthday, allowed me to give it a shot.

According to his mother, this soon to be 11 year old is into skulls. I'll admit, I haven't used much skull fabric in my quilts, although I won't say never.  I have a turquoise print bearing small skulls in my stash.  Yes, you have to look closely to tell they are skulls, but they are skulls nonetheless.  I have added this fabric to a couple of my scrappy quilts.

That said, it was with glee that I used the large print skull fabric to make these:

I used the tutorial posted on Vanilla Joy.  It's a great tutorial.  I did have to make modifications to her instructions due to the directionality of my fabric.  That wasn't difficult.  However, it did require more fabric.

My supposition was correct: Custom pillowcases are fun to make.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Queensland Devastation

The horrendous devastation in Queensland Australia continues to make the news.  For some perspective, I suggest reading Rain and Devastation on Sunshine? Paradise?.

A lot of us are wondering how to help.  It's tough when we're a half a world away.  I've been reading lots of wonderful ideas on today's blogs.  I'd like to add another one.   There is an easy way to donate money to an Australian agency that will be one of the charities helping with clean up.  Courtesy of Shay at Quilting in My Pyjamas who did the research for me, I found that I could donate to Mission Australia via Paypal. A terrific method because it's electronic and Paypal handles all of the currency exchange rates.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Great Gals at RTCQ

Before I started blogging, I got my quilting chat fix with the gals (and guys) on the RTCQ (rec.textiles.crafts.quilting) newsgroup. After I began blogging, I still managed to keep up with the group. And then my dad died, and life turned upside. I started neglecting my friends at RTCQ, and have just recently begun to dip a toe in again.

Within the RTCQ group is a sub-group that makes hug quilts for people who have suffered a loss--death of a family member or some other tragedy. I myself belong to that group.

Surprisingly, when I reported my loss to the RTCQ group, it just never occurred to me that I would become the recipient of a hug quilt.  I know that sounds silly.  But I was always a "hugger"; not a "huggee". 

So you can imagine my surprise (and yes, wet eyes) when this quilt arrived in today's mail. 

I don't have adequate words to fully express how touched I am.  Your kindness is overwhelming.  It's a beautiful quilt.  I feel well-hugged, and the quilt will be on my bed tonight.

Monday Miscellaneous

Tweaking the House:

Like Shay, at Quilting in My Pyjamas before me, it seems that this blog has temporarily turned into a litany of renovations, albeit comparatively minor.

Our new house is not very old.  It was built just three years ago.  Oddly enough, there is not a single medicine cabinet in any of the bathrooms.

While my mother (my conspirator in home renovation) and I are up for learning new things, and have had some experience in making small repairs, neither of us wanted to tackle installing a classic medicine cabinet--one that is inset in the sheet rock.  Instead we bought one of the over-the-toilet cabinets that can be purchased at any Wal-mart.


Fabric Sale:

So what would any quilter do when faced with a sale from Thousands of Bolts?  An end of the year sale in which the fabrics were running from $2.95/yd to $3.50/yd?  Why, buy 28 yards of course!

PhD Challenge:

I'm pleased to say I'm on the downhill side of one my Projects Half Done Challenge quilt.  I have finished the hand-quilting, and have begun FMQ the last two borders.  I attempted to take a picture of the quilting, but my thread blends so well, that none of the pictures show much.  It will be very nice to have this very old project completed.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Favorite Things Friday: Ebay.

The fabulous lady at Quilting in My Pyjamas has brought back Favorite Things Friday. I'm coming late to the party since it was Friday in Australia yesterday, but it's still not too late to join the fun. Mrs. Pyjamas is not a stickler for which Friday we observe.  Click on the button on the right if you want to play.

Okay, so my favorite thing this Friday is Ebay.  I've sold items and I've bought items.  The things I've bought in the past are usually along the lines of ink cartridges for my printer, soft paws for my cat (back when it wasn't against his policy to wear them), and the like.  Generally cool, but not mind-blowing.

Now, I know you're looking at the picture of the lamp thinking I bought it on Ebay, and you'd be wrong.  I bought only the lampshade on Ebay. 

Here's the story:  My grandparents have had this lamp in their house for the past thirty years (perhaps longer, but that's the limit of my knowledge).  Once upon a time, it looked like it does now.  And then the lampshade got broken.  I never saw it in its original form.  By the time I had knowledge of it, it had a replacement shade that was plain white because a matching shade could not be found.

When we made the move from Nevada to Kansas, the replacement shade got broken.  Not really a big surprise.  The thing is pretty fragile.

So I went searching through Ebay looking for yet another replacement.  I was just hoping to find another plain white shade that fit.  You cannot imagine my shock and surprise, when I came across the shade that was a perfect match to the base.  And it cost me $10 plus shipping.  Unbelievable!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Monday Miscellaneous

New Year's Resolutions:

Nothing quilty to show again this week, although I am making progress hand-quilting the Scrappy Star.  At this rate I'll have to re-name the blog.  Change it from the Prairie Quilter to Whatever Strikes My Fancy.   However, I have made a quilt-related New Year's Resolution:  to give more thought to naming my quilts.  Yeah, I know, I'm really knocking myself out with this one.  It sounds like a rather weenie resolution, however, I have discovered that naming quilts really is not my forte.  So I'll turn my attention to it this year.

A Special Birthday:

You've met my cousin Lori.  I may have mentioned we share the same birthday?  (I know I've posted this picture before, and I'm posting it again because it makes me happy.  It captures how we are together. )

Due to the time of year our birthday comes, December 30th, it often gets overlooked--even by ourselves.  Who needs another holiday between Christmas and New Years?  Our family made sure this year that did not happen.  Bless them.

We got time away from our responsibilities to buzz down to Wichita and visit Hancock's and Hobby Lobby.  How cool is that?  It was interesting to see how much Lori's crafting overlapped with my quilting.  Then we had a quiet lunch together.

Time spent with her is a like a balm on my soul.

Oh and then there were the special t-shirts:  Birfday Twins.  Thank you Eric!

Nobody believed we'd wear them outside of the house.  HA!  We did one better, by adding the fleece boas that Lori made, before heading out to eat Mexican food.  We got a few stares.

(I cut myself out of this picture because I looked like a total dweeb--eyes closed.)  I couldn't believe how warm those fleece boas are.  Better than a knitted scarf, in my opinion.

Our birthday was in a word:  AWESOME.

Fun and Games:

The rest of the week had its share of silliness.  Newton is home to this blue sky sculpture you see in the background behind me.

And these two..., (I'll refrain from using the word art) figures.  Eric and I couldn't resist having a bit of fun:


I hate to think of all the wonderful posts I've missed.  And I apologize.  I am so behind on my blog-reading, I fear I may never catch up.  (But hey, partying like you're 47 eats up time!)