Welcome to Gramma's Quilting Room.

Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 In Review

I just spent some time reviewing my blog to see if I can figure out what I have accomplished this year. After waiting for each page to load (yes, still on stinky ole dial up!) I decided why not just look back through the pictures. That's where I document almost everything.

January found us working on the house, new floors and a bathroom remodel. And October has us working on the kitchen and on the shop. December has us not finished!

I've spent time knitting. Remember I taught myself to knit in December of 2006 to keep me on track with my not smoking and it has worked. 13 months smoke free. I've knitted 4 pair of socks and started and torn out a few more. I've made lots of dish clothes, hats and scarves. Carpel tunnel has slowed me down but I do have a couple projects on needles because I just can't stop. And I have a growing stash of yarn!

I've made 3 trips to Arizona. The 3rd trip was to help Crystal and Mike pack to move back home. Jenny and Lonnie moved to Austin, Texas. Then they decided to move back home so I didn't get to visit them in November like I had planned. That's OK! I don't have to ride on the scary freeways that I've heard about.

I adopted a new dog, Uggie. He is part of the family now and it's like he has always lived here.

I "retired" from my job of 10 1/2 years. I have never felt better. I love being home. I love being able to visit with my family and friends. I can go out to lunch, shopping or stay home, which is what I do more than anything. I've put more hours on my new sewing machine in 6 months than I did in the first years I owned it. I've decluttered a lot, I have a bit more to do but I don't want to run out of projects too soon. ;-)

I went to an outdoor Brad Paisley concert. I went to 3 retreats at Royal Ridges. By the 3rd one, I was retreated out. I already have 4 scheduled for 2008! I spent time with my friends at 3 different quilt show and a day at the Clark County Fair.

Poppy bought a new John Deere lawn mower. I have never driven it! We were gifted an old Caterpillar 966 loader from my father. Thanks Dad. She sits out beside our old Caterpillar D7 bulldozer. I went with my husband to an outdoor tractor show and now I am on the lookout for him for an old fixer upper tractor.

I've quilted several quilts and still have a pile of my own to do. I finished 10 of my UFOs and added 4 more to the list. I have 3 WIPs and don't intend to let them become UFOs. I embroidered on most of the Christmas gifts this year.

I've surrounded my self with my family this year and I am quite happy about that. We added a new baby girl. How could I not be happy? My life is quite good. I am a very lucky woman.

I discovered a new blog today. It's called Life Is A Quilt. She had a post listing her quilting accomplishments for 2007. I want to keep track of my accomplishments for 2008. I am trilled that I am starting the year being current on the mystery from Quiltville. I have a list of projects to start and a long list of projects to complete.

I think 2008 is going to be a fun ride. I hope there aren't many bumps in the road.

Happy New Year

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas Sewing Report - Part 2

Sewing continues as the big days is approaching at a faster pace than ever before.

These towels were made for Doug's girlfriend Lacey. She's kind of the outdoorsy type and she loved them. Now I want to get some more towels and make some for myself.
I made 2 of these teepees for the grand dogs. One for Dee's house and this one for Jenny's house. I was so shocked when the dogs went right inside. Now I have to make one more cuz there is another grand dog at another house that needs one.
These are some of the gift bags I made. I am not a good gift wrapper and have decided to make bags instead. I think I came home with half of them. The little girls wanted to keep theirs.

This is the best Christmas present we received this year. Little Miss Clella is 12 days old today and is growing so fast. We went in today to put some Gramma smoochies on her. I tried to give her more but Poppy was being a baby hog.
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Christmas Sewing Report - Part 1

I tried to upload 7 pictures but Picasa2 says I can only do 4 at a time so I will make a Part 2 in a bit. I wanted to show off some of the stuff I did for Christmas gifts this year.

For each of the kiddos, I embroidered either their names or their initials on a set of towels. The boys each have a set of face and butt towels and the 3 of girls have fancy monograms and Clella has a set with her name on them. That's 10 sets of towels.

For my 3 girls, I made them each a table runner using the instructions from Quiltbus with the center square being an embroidery design that I found free on the web. Probably at Ann the Gran. That's were I find a lot of my freebie designs. Now I want to make them each one that isn't for the holidays but for every day. I just need to find a longer day somewhere.

I made 2 sets of these dish towels. These are more freebie designs. I figure since we have to do the dishes, we may as well do them with fun towels.

These towels are at Dee's house. I was there yesterday and I loved seeing her table runner on her table and a towel hanging from her stove.
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Monday, December 17, 2007


...Miss Clella Mae with mommy Crystal. Born today, December 17, 2007. Weighing in at 6 pounds, 8 ounces and 19 inches long.

Welcome to the world Miss Clella! Momma and baby are doing fine. Gramma, however is exhausted. Brother Elliot is fighting sleep knowing that Gramma is exhausted. Poppy is in visiting his girls. Gramma is exhausted.
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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Guess What This Is Gonna Be

If you guessed a Christmas gift, then you guessed right! Give yourself a prize!!!

Actually, I am thrilled with the way this design--free from Ann the Gran --turned out.

About a year and a half ago, at the Clark County Quilter's quilt show, there was a rummage sale. I found that little baggie full of brand new spools of metallic thread for $5! I love thread and I know that many spools is a real bargin. Well, I brought it home, hung it on the thread rack and looked at it every once in a while.

Today when I'm getting thread out for this design, I decided to put in a metallic needle, slow my speed down and try the thread. I wish you could see how sparkley it is. I didn't have any trouble at all. I only wish I would have used more of the metallics. Now I might have to make this design again for myself.

I've been busy finishing up gifts, making gift bags and thinking about baking some goodies. Mmmmm, fudge. Maybe I'll make that tomorrow. Or maybe not.
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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Funny Bone Kind Of Day

I absolutely love it when I have a day where little things tickle my funny bone. Today has been one of those days.

First thing this morning, I look in the mirror and some funny looking ole hag is staring at me. Her hair is wild and full of gray and she has more than one chin. I could have been scared to death if she wasn't laughing at me.

I had to go to town and I followed a car with the license plate of 859 WIP. Well my mind says if I have that many but I'm certainly not gonna advertise it on my car!!! For you non quilters, whoever you may be, WIP means work in progress. I thought about that all morning and it too made me laugh.

Then I am waiting at a crosswalk for a lady to hurry across. She's all bundled up in a long winter coat with the hood pulled tight around her pudgy face. As I'm watching her waddle, I notice she is wearing a long denim skirt with sweat pants under it. I also see she has on socks in her thin little slippers. I don't know why that stuck me as funny but it did and I smiled and waved to her when she crossed in front of my car.

Every store I was in today was full of happy children--it was still early in the day and not quite naptime. Clerks were happy and so were customers. Then I went to the Dollar Store.

I kind of lost it when the teenager behind me thought he needed to be as close as he could get to me while waiting in line. When I asked (ok, I told him!) to back up away from me a bit, he had to get nasty. Silly guy, my feet hurt and I still have to get groceries and YOU want to get nasty with me! You are an idiot! Do not argue with a woman with tired feet that is still facing the grocery store! After a minute, he backed up out of my space and I kind of chuckled. I also felt like maybe he was gonna stick his hand into my bag and borrow my wallet. That would have not been funny!

How do you like my abandoned church picture? It's on the road where you turn right (Jen) to go to the Kah Nee Tah resort. It really is a cool looking building and it's too bad its in the state that it is. I think it would make an awesome quilt shop somewhere other that where it is.

Gotta go, got things to do and Oprah's almost on. :-)
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Friday, December 07, 2007

Bonnie Is At It Again

Bonnie Hunter over at Quiltville isn't busy enough planning a move, she started a new quilt project and turned it into a mystery for all of us Quiltville junkies. You can be a Quiltville Mystery junkie too. Just follow this link to the Quiltville page and you will be on your way. Don't be shy, join this Yahoo Group and see what everyone else is up to. All 865! members.

I wasn't going to do it, I wasn't going to join. I have enough to do. I love mysteries and I love Bonnie's projects. So my step one rail fence blocks are done and pinned in piles of 10. My step 2 9 patches are started. I hope I am caught up by the time she posts step 3.

Darn Her!!!
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Will I Ever Get There???

Where am I going? I am on a long trip to Organizational Heaven. I don't know if I will ever arrive. I've never been there so I don't know what it will be like. But I'm willing to be adventerous and I just might like being there.

Over the past several months, I have been trying to get my sewing and quilting stuff "together" but I don't know if there is an end in sight. I have 2 more of these bags stuffed with scraps that need to be cut. I spent all of one morning on one bag. (I'm not complaining, I got to watch a really good movie.)

My 2" bin is overfull, as is another 2 1/2" bin. I have been cutting, squares into 10 /12", 2 1/2", 5", 3 1/2" and rectangles into 5 /12" x 10 1/2" and 2 1/2" x 4 1/2". Then there are the strings I keep that are at least 1" wide. I also found a few orphan blocks. That bin is getting pretty full too.

It felt pretty good to get those piles put away and the empty bag ready to be filled again. I love looking in the bins and seeing all the neat strips. I also know what they will look like when I am ready to start another project.

Today has been a strange day. I woke up at 4"30 with an aweful headache so after the big guy left for work at 5, I took some ibuprofen and went back to bed. I think that's only the second time I've gone back to bed since I retired. Then I got up at 9:30, still had the headache, and took some more ibu. I have done next to nothing today and my list is pretty long. I think I will start the washer and then sew the binding onto a quilt so I have something to sew on at night.

I picked up a baby quilt yesterday that I want to get quilted and returned ASAP. I don't think today is a good day to start it. Tomorrow has to be a better day. Maybe I'll take a nap!
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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Happy Birthday Taylor

Happy Birthday Taylor Marie.

Didn't Aunt Cryssie and I tell you that you couldn't be 8 yet! We were going to skip today so you could be 7 for another year. You are so grown up and we aren't quite ready for that.

I don't know how to stop the hands of time from turning so fast. When times zooms by, I always think of my Gramma telling me how fast time goes when you get older and I never understood that until now.

As they say, Time flies when you're having fun and for the most part, I'm having fun.
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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hey Sonya, Look At This!!!

The "5 Year Old" quilt is off the frame waiting for someone to make some binding. We are so funny with our names of quilts. Sonya was involved in a pastel and white 9 patch swap and in a heart block swap. She combined the blocks to make this quilt for a friend's 5 year old daughter, making this the "5 Year Old" quilt. When she first told me about it, I thought it was a top that she had done for 5 years. I mean, geez, that wouldn't be uncommon for me. I think I have a few of those.

This is the quilt that made me almost be a bald woman. First I tried using a batik for the back. The fabric is beautiful, my machine hated! it. So after a row and a half, I picked it all out. We decided that flannel would be more snuggley anyhow and that was the right decision. This quilt is definetly snuggley.

This is the first time I used Jodi Beamish's pantograph Plumage and I can't wait to use it on something else. But first I am going to load another quilt with a fun name but I can't talk about that until after Christmas, just in case.

Yesterday's post where I worship the ground Bev walks on should have included a link to her website. So I will include it here. It is called Dancing Threads Custom Quilting and when you visit, you will see her dancing threads. And a picture of Bev. She looks like the sweetest lady and talking to her yesterday proofs to me that she is. Again, Thank You Bev for taking the time to calm me down and tell me to loosen my tension. I think she meant on the machine and in my shoulders. :-)

After the mystery quilt is finished, I am going to take some time and work on my stack of quilts. I know that sounds kind of selfish but I am starting to feel a little guilty about not finishing my own things. That will last until I get the sweet little whiney voice that says "I need this quilt done 3 days ago!" and Oh, OK!
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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Life Lesson # Oh I Don't Know!

Two life lessons in one day is a fine way to spend the day. Especially if I start thinking I'm all Miss Smarty McFarty! Well, guess what?!? I'm not, I'm just a McFarty.

I'm all full of myself because I can quilt a ways, then I run out of bobbin thread, have to change that and write a boast post. Big mistake. When I went back to quilting, my thread is breaking, I can't figure out why, I'm ready to start drinking! I don't drink!

So more adjust, try, adjust, cry. Then I decide I need to talk to someone. First I will check my Nolting Yahoo group to maybe find the solution and there right in front of my face is Bev's phone number. I decided to give her a call. Whenever anyone has a problem and they post to the list, Bev usually knows what they are talking about and she can solve the problem.

I am so frustrated that I need to talk so I called her. Bev, you are the sweetest thing. And smart! Oh my goodness. She calmed me down, talked to me, made me laugh and solved my problem. With just a little adjustment to the top tension, I am now finished with this quilt.

Whoo Hoo, It's a great day. Now I will go grocery shopping. Now that should be fun!

Another Life Lesson Learned

Don't you love life lessons??? Usually not at the time I'm learning them! Then after the lesson, I want to bonk myself between the eyes like the V-8 commercial because the solution to my problems is generally simple. Maybe I should have had a V-8!

My life lessons are usually DUH moments. Like my longarm frustrations of yesterday. I have timed that machine numerous times. I know how. But why do I torture myself instead of taking a break and going back to it when I've calmed down.

This morning, I started over. I took the thread off, the bobbin out, timed the machine like I know I can, put the bobbin in, threaded the machine, then run a test swatch. Well I'll be! That baby is stitching like a dream. I wonder if my little prince came in here last night waving his magic prince wand!!!

OK, break is over. I have work to do.

Monday, November 26, 2007

There's a Whole Lot of Activity Around Here

We have some changes going on around at Gramma's house. Here is Mr Mike helping Grampa put up the extention to the shop. I can now park my car out of the weather. I still have to walk through the rain to get to it but at least when I open the car door, my seat won't get wet.

The whole family, except Vern's boys, was here on Thanksgiving Day. Jenny and her family left before dinner but everyone else had a pretty darn good feast. The men deep fried a turkey and the girls got to fix everything else. I don't know about anyone else but I missed the traditional roasted turkey. I love the smells and the gravy drippings. We even bought the pumpkin pies. They were good and I'm happy to buy them again from Costco.

Then on Friday the crew started putting the new roof on the house. Oh boy, talk about loud! There were times I thought someone fell through and would land on the kitchen floor! Thank goodness that didn't happen and now we have a fabulous new roof and probably will never ever have to do that job again!

So today, Grampa went back to work, all our company is gone and the house is quiet. I kind of enjoyed it for a while this morning then this afternoon it was too quiet.

Then the most frustrating thing happened! I filled bobbins this morning, made a back for a quilt, loaded it on the frame and started quilting. It's looking so nice and then!!!!!!!!! The thread wrapped around the bobbin case, the needle shattered into a kabillion pieces and I have to fix my machine. I don't even know what happened.

So I have spent the last several hours trying not to run out screaming. I have retimed, retimed again, changed needles, bobbins, thread and my attitude. Nothing has worked. I think I'm close then go back to the quilt and take ten stitches and the top thread breaks. I break out the video, watch it, pause, retime, try, watch, pause, watch, pause. It isn't working. I took all the parts off that I could to check them for burrs and haven't found any. I might have to check again. But tonight I am done. I can't think any more.

Tomorrow morning I am taking the video out to the fancy disc player where I can pause and zoom in and see exactly what I need to see. If that doesn't work, I am making a phone call to Nolting and see if they can point me in the right direction. I wonder if they will point me to a new machine!! Just kidding!

Tonight, I am going to do nothing but dream sweet dreams. If I wake up in the middle of the night with some hair brained idea, I'll just get up, write it down then go back to bed and back to sleep.

Yeah, right!
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Friday, November 09, 2007

I've Been Busy

Here ya go Mike, you can laugh at poor Uggie aka Bucket Head. He is pretty funny looking. He's trying his best to get the bucket off his head but it's there to stay for a few more days. The vet said he's like a person with a bug bite, he started to scratch, made it itch more and went balistic. His hinnie and tail was chewed up pretty bad so he has a shaved butt that's all scabby but healing nicely. Better get out here or you are gonna miss it.

He goes out side and tries to flick the bucket off his head. I have to hold his food and water dishes because he flicks those and makes a mess.

Here's the quilt I'm working on right now. I'm practicing some flames and other freehand work and working with some of my rulers. I love the stitch in the ditch ruler. It didn't take me too long to get used to working with it. This quilt will go onto the charity quilt pile. After it's finished, I have a humongous quilt to work on. Then just a couple more and I am going to spend the rest of my quilting time getting my pile down so I can build it back up again.

I've been on a free standing lace snowflake marathon. I wasn't going to do an ornament exchange but my friends talked me into it. I now have to stock up on more white thread but I have all my snowflakes made and a few extras. It's fun to multi task--embroidery machine and longarm going at the same time and listening to both.

The snowman quilt is quilted, binding is on and ready to be stitched down. This picture is just to tease my friend. Sorry Sugar, I know I am mean!!!

I think tonight is movie night, I haven't looked to see what is on. I'm going to make a simple dinner cuz I really don't want to cook. I think tomorrow will be a stew and cornbread day so I can spend most of the day working on the larger than life car quilt.

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Monday, November 05, 2007

I Never Thought I'd Say It, But...

...I'm retreated out! We had 26 women in our sewing room. That's a lot of energy in a space I never thought of as small. I sat with Crystal and we both got a lot accomplished. When it started to get loud and crazy, we both got out our MP3 players and on went the headphones. You get lots done when the music is right.

I made one more block of the month, started on the second one and realized I had cut my pieces the wrong size. Then I got out my diamond string quilt from last weekend and finished sewing sashing on the blocks and then sewed them into a quilt top. Pictures when it's quilted. I then got out my strings and started working on Bonnie's latest string quilt free pattern at Quiltville.

So now I have to get down to business. Today I set my Designer 1 to embroidery mode and started making some free standing lace snowflakes for an ornament swap. Then I got out the serger and pieced a back for a quilt, cut the batting, loaded it on the frame and it's almost finished. I am hoping to finish it tonight but I'm starting to poop out. I sure hope I have the back for the next quilt on Thursday evening. (That's a hint!) If not, I'll just have to load on one of mine.

I had to take Uggie to the vet. He decided to chew the hair off his back and tail. Poor baby, the doctor says it's partly anxiety--he missed his mommy--and party because hyper dogs forget to stop scratching their itches. I'll pick him up tomorrow and I'm sure he'll have a bucket on his head. That will have to be a blogger photo. Even if it is only to give one person a little chuckle.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Retreat Fun

Would ya look at this mess! It's not really a mess, it's organized chaois. But if you compare it to the second photo, it's a mess. My new friend Trina--what a doll--took some good hearted ribbing from the rest of us. Look at how precise her blocks are lined up. She didn't use a ruler, I did. I mean, this is a blog moment. :-) This was the way her table looked all weekend. All nice and neat.

I completed 3 12" paper pieced blocks and made 1 sweatshirt jacket before I just had to dive into my strings. I planned to work on my version of Quiltville's Diamond Strings .

Before leaving home, I cut my phone book pages to use for foundations. I had a bag of 4"-6" string pieces and I started sewing. I chained 6 to 10 units at a time then made crumb blocks as my Leaders and Enders . I ended up with 130 4 1/2" pieced half square triangles. (The crumb block link takes you to my webshots tutorial on making crumb blocks.)

After I got home on Sunday, I had to keep working. I started to sew my HSTs into blocks. Instead of sashing between my blocks like Bonnie did, I sashed each block with a different 2" sashing. So when all my blocks are completed, I will have 30 different sashings. I a little bit excited to get this sewn into a top but it will be a while before that happens. I have my sashing pieces all cut and in a project bag for this weekend's retreat.

I'm not totally unpacked from last weekend. I just need to rearrange some things and add a couple more projects. Ohhhhhh I am getting excited to have another 4 days of sewing and spending time with my quilting friends.

So now I have to get off this computer and get some marana sauce cooking for my contribution to the next retreat dinner. Thursday will be here before I am ready.
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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Retreat Time

It's retreat time. Two retreats in two weeks. I leave Thursday for 4 days, come home for 3 and leave again next Thursday for 4 more days. The weather has turned nice so I am hoping there will still be leaves falling from the maple trees.

I posted this picture to get myself ready to sleep on that beloved bottom bunk. I could come home--it's only 3 miles--but what if something fun happened while I was gone!!! I do not want to miss anything.

I have a few projects planned and packed for this week and I have a couple small things for next week. I certainly have enough stuff here at home to keep me sewing so I will not make a trip to the quilt shop. I have been coveting the New York Beauty quilts and bought a book so I think I am going to work on that if my other things get finished. I have a few blocks to make to complete a UFO thats 3 years old. I am doing a BOM from the Carol Doak Yahoo group so I have October and November's blocks to do. I am a bit slow on the paper piecing so just 2 blocks could take me all day.

I really haven't been spending any quality time with my sewing machine. Last night was the first night I have sat in front of her for several days. I did a little bit of work on a wall hanging but that didn't last long.

Last Friday, I helped Jenny unpack her kitchen boxes while the mover men were unloading the truck. (Those guys have some serious muscles! Watching them carry box after box up the stairs made my back ache!) Saturday we went to Home Depot to look at new cabinets and get them priced out. Ohhhh Lordy! I am going to have a very nice kitchen when this project is all done.
Sunday, Dee and her family were here and by Sunday evening, I just wanted to hold down the couch with a good book.

My friend, Sharon and I have been walking. Some days I am amazed that I make it home without collapsing. Like today, about half way back home, I just wanted to fall into the ditch and stay there. But I took a quick rest and kept plodding along. Really, I didn't fall into the ditch cuz I didn't want to have to crawl back out of it! I don't care if I never loose a single pound (well I do but you know what I mean), I just want to be able to go for a walk without being all out of breath. It's been 11 months since I quit smoking and now I need to finish taking care of myself. Lawrdy, it's hard work getting healthy again. I should never, ever have let myself get this far gone but I did and now I have to do the hard work. I've been looking and I can't find any one out there to do if to me. Anybody???? Please!!!
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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My Chicklets Are All Home

I talked to Jenny today about 2 and they are almost home. And that makes me one Happy Momma and Gramma! I try real hard not to nose into my children's lives. I don't want to be "one of those" moms. I know they are adults and have to do what is right for their families. But geez, I hate that they had to do it in Texas and Arizona. So today, I am having a very happy day. Jenny and her family are back home in Washington where, in my not so humble opinion, is where they belong! Again, I'm sorry Jenny, I know you loved Texas but damn, I missed you.

How do you like my sunrise picture? I call those God Moments. This was last Tuesday about 7 am. The curtains were still closed and the light through them just looked funny. I peeked out and this is what I saw. Thank you God, I need moments like this.

This quilt top is a mystery from one of my yahoo groups. I had my pieces all cut and ready to go when I got up on Saturday morning. It didn't take too long to figure out what was happening so I just kept plodding along. Then came the time to decide how to set the blocks. I think this was my second setting so I took a picture of it, moved things around again, took another picture and another and came back to this setting. I call it Slightly Off Center. It's kind of like me. So after letting it age for a week, last night I finally got all the blocks sewn together, today I decided on my borders and sometime this week I might put them on.

I had a quilt loaded on the machine that was giving me fits. The backing is batik and my machine evidently doesn't like batiks for backs! I took it off so I could take out the row and a half of pantograph. I retimed the machine thinking that was it and then loaded on a practice piece. It is sewing quite nice but still doesn't like the batiks. I have to come up with something different for the back of the other quilt. Sorry Sonya, we'll figure something out.

This is my crazy dog doing the cat blade walk. He does the funniest things. I just may send him to the circus. Gotta go, Oprah's on.
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Monday, October 01, 2007

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Crystal.
I hope all of your wishes come true.
I love you.
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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Even More Retreat Pics

As promised, here is inside the cabin, 5 sets of bunk beds.

We take the mattress off the top bunk and put it on the bottom bunk. Those 4" foam mattresses just don't cut it for any of us. We are all spoiled and like a little cush for our tush. And we need somewhere to put all of our stuff.

The dining room where the yummy meals are served. Everything is served family style. Ron, the director, is trying to get round tables for the dining room and then will ship these tables up for the sewing room.

This is my day 1 completed project. It is September's BOM for the Carol Doak Yahoo Group. I have always wanted a pink and brown quilt. Now that there are more and more choices in these colors, I have a pretty good collection and will use it for this project. October's block is already printed and will go with me to the next retreat unless I find some time to work on it before.

Now I am going to go finish cleaning up my cinnamon roll mess. I tried a new recipe today for the sweet dough. Oh my gosh, it melts in your mouth. It's from the recipe book that came with my "big red mixer". That would be the red Kitchenaide Artisan Mixer. I think I am going to read that little book again and see what else is in there.
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