Monday, April 8, 2013

Where's Sinbad?

Are you sitting down? Are you comfortable? Do you have a cup of coffee? This story could take a while.

*So, where's Sinbad?

Wait, wait. Not yet. We have to talk about the retreat first.

As I mentioned last week, I had a quilt retreat scheduled for the weekend. I hadn't been to a retreat in about two years and was having serious withdrawals. This particular event used to be the Quilters Loose in the Woods retreat, but last year we lost both John and Martha, the co-founders. The Eureka! guild took over the retreat, so we met again this year in a new location. All good so far. I loved seeing my friends again after such a long time.

We laughed, we ate chocolate, we sewed, we ironed...we blew a fuse. It seems our new location was formerly a church retreat building - built in 1924. Guess when the wiring was done? Apparently in 1924 church retreat attendees didn't bring 25 full-sized irons with them. Go figure.

After a brief visit from the maintenance man, we had our power back. Oh, did I mention that Mom and I were at one of the only two tables to lose power? That was Friday night. I put my iron up in my room and shared an iron with about eight others on a more secure electrical line after that.

*So does Sinbad feature in this story anywhere?

Hold on, hold on. His time is coming.

I spent most of Saturday morning working a sewing themed jigsaw puzzle (getting very little sewing done). Then came Saturday afternoon. This time we didn't knock out the outlets to two tables; we knocked out the outlet to Mom's and my table and the lights for the ENTIRE main floor of the building. My iron was still in my room, I swear! So there we sat in the dark; the three of us at my table were the only ones without a viable outlet. Everyone else, being TRUE quilters, continued sewing in the dark. There is very little that can slow a quilter down if she's truly determined. The maintenance man set up a flood light in a spare room, and I sat in there and worked on the second of my two binding projects that I had taken with me.

When we left Sunday morning, we still didn't have lighting on the main floor. Nor did we have hot water (electric water heaters). Nor had I gotten much sleep over night. (I won't get into details, but the situation involved a jet powered vacuum cleaner and a tone deaf pianist who couldn't tell time. But that's another story all together.) The only project I had finished was the remaining 24" of binding on one project. I had about the same amount of binding done on another quilt, but very little machine sewing to show for my efforts.


Okay, here's where Sinbad comes in.

I got home Sunday afternoon with very little to show for my time away. I did enjoy visiting with friends and working a jigsaw puzzle, but neither of those pastimes contributed to finishing my UFOs. I was so sleep deprived, though, that I went to bed at 8 p.m. I left Sinbad, Maxie, and Callie sleeping in the sewing room.

So it's the middle of the night. I wake up. Where's Sinbad? He never joined me in bed. Hmmm...I've been away all weekend, and he doesn't even miss me? Fine. I nurse my hurt feelings and go back to sleep. I wake up again. I hear Sinbad yowling his "OUT" cry. I assume he's in the sunroom. That's not unusual, but at least now I know where he is. He's at the front door wanting out to chase night critters. I go back to sleep. I wake up again. This time I hear Maxie meowing loudly for attention. Again, not too unusual. She seems to be with Sinbad in the sunroom. I go back to sleep.

BOOM! BOOM! Thunder and rain. A storm has rolled in. I wait for Sinbad to rush in and duck under the covers. Where's Sinbad? He ALWAYS comes to me for comfort in a storm. But, he never shows up. Fine. Nursing more hurt feelings at being abandoned, I turn over and sulk myself back to sleep.

Next thing I knew, the alarm was sounding and it was time to get up. Still no Sinbad. I looked in the hall. I looked in the sun room. I looked in the dining room and the kitchen. No one around but Tessie (who did sleep with me last night). Then I noticed the closed utility room door. The door that leads eventually to my sewing room (the former garage). My poor babies were closed behind that door! My husband had gotten overly helpful and decided to close chubby little Callie into the sewing room to keep her from grazing everyone's food dish (Callie is used to this and cherishes the alone time). Unfortunately, he didn't check first for sleepers. Poor Sinbad, who is terrified of storms, got locked away from all of his hidey holes all night. All of his "Out!" cries and those of his sister Maxie went unheeded by an uncaring Mama, snug in her bed. (Guilt, Guilt, Guilt, Guilt, Guilt)

Ever have one of those days that just keeps on going - forever?

Tomorrow I sew. Tonight I will be snuggling with my kitties to make up for everything.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

2013 Progess List

I've just been updating my 2013 To Do List page (see page list on the upper right of the blog). I have 30 UFO projects listed on this page that I would like to get finished this year. Pretty optimistic, huh? I have currently been able to mark three off of that list. Woo HOO! That's one a month so far!

Of course, that still leaves 27 to go.  : 0  Aaauugghhh... Does 2013 have 27 months? No?  : (  Then I guess I need to get moving. The good news, of course, is that I currently have seven quilts awaiting binding and labeling, five of which are on my To Do list. All but two of those seven have the binding sewn down to the front already. Post binding and labeling, I'll have eight of my UFOs done! Yippee!!! *Smiles and Happy Dance*

Of course, I have started two more quilts already this year. *sheepish grin* I hope those don't make it onto my 2014 To Do list!

Sorry I don't have any photos today. I'm getting ready to start packing a case for the weekend. I'm going on RETREAT! I'm leaving at noon tomorrow (after my last class) to head out with Mom for a weekend of wild partying  exciting adventure  chocolate fueled, sweatshop style, binge sewing. Out of my way ladies! I have UFOs to finish! Bring on the Mt Dew and Oreos - I don't intend to sleep for 48 hours!

See you next week!


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What's the next block, Callie?

Once again, my lovely assistant Callie has agreed to help me display my latest blocks for my kit quilt.
You may remember that I completed five quilt blocks last week. I need 15 blocks for the pattern or 20 if I want to expand to a queen-sized quilt. Thankfully, the kit included enough fabric for a queen-sized quilt, but I will need to come up with the additional 5 block patterns myself. I think I'm up to the challenge. : )
So this weekend, between going shopping for a new chick coop (pictures later - once we get it assembled!) and trading out our old brush-hog for a different old brush-hog, I was able to sew an additional 5 blocks. So here they are. Callie, if you please...
Thank you, Cal. This beige and red block lacks something since I made it with no green. It's the only block that has only two colors (although it still has the requisite four fabrics). I may decide to add green to it (depending on how it looks when I lay everything out) if it still looks out of place. Oh, and did you catch my comment about having four different fabrics? Can you find all four? One red - check. One pink/red - check. Two beiges - wait, TWO beiges? Yep, I thought I would be brilliant and use a very light beige and a slightly darker version of the same color just for shading. I should have known better than to trust to my brilliance. The second beige is a square and a half coming out from the pinkish HST on each side. See it now? No? Hmmm.... I may need to rip those pieces out and replace them with a light green...

Anyway, I like this next square. I'm back to a recognizable four fabrics again with this little pinwheel block. Isn't it cute? Okay, Callie, what's next? Callie? Oh my, she zoned out during my diatribe about the first block.


Ah yes, there you are. This third block features a beautiful yellow-green batik fabric and some rather pronounced variations in color. Oops! Did you notice that I have turned a corner the wrong way on the upper-right hand side? Of course you noticed! And of course you would have been kind enough to point it out to me so that I didn't get the entire quilt finished before seeing it...Wouldn't you?

Since I just noticed it myself, I'll have to get that fixed tonight before I forget about it again. On to the next block.

Callie is glaring at me because she doesn't like that shadow creeping up on her from the bottom of the picture. I have no idea what was casting the shadow in this case, but it seems to appear in several of my photos. Something else on four paws or just my elbow sticking out? Regardless, this gold and red star block is actually one of my favorites. I do like gold. Cash is great too, of course, but there's just something about gold...toss in a diamond here and there... Sigh.

And the last block before I finished for the night. At least I got everything pointing the right direction in this block. It does look a bit Christmasy though. Oh well. I'm definitely not changing it.

And now for the grand finale for the weekend... drum roll please, Callie...

CALLIE! Please pay attention!

Thank you. You just can't get good help these days. I guess I'll have to start paying more than just tuna if I want competent help in the future.  : )

So with the five blocks above (one and maybe two of them scheduled for surgery tonight to fix "problems") and the five from last week...

I have ten finished blocks. I'm making pretty good progress. Half-way there!

And some by-the-way news... Mom called me at work yesterday to ask a favor. It seems that the program chair at her Pieces and Patches guild (which meets during the day, so I'm not a member) asked her to give a trunk show in June. And get this... They want her to do a trunk show of MY quilts! I still think it was just an April Fool's Day joke, but she swears not.

Oh dear! Do you realize how much cat hair that means that I have to get cleared off of my quilts before I can send them off with her? Oh my. I'll probably be able to build at least three more full-sized cats and a kitten with all that fur!

I guess I need to get started on that stack of binding, too. Six quilts waiting. Sigh. Mount UFO, here I come. Anyone want to help with binding? Anyone? Callie, come back here!

Later. I have to go corral a worker cat or two to help me with this binding. Here, kitty, kitty. See, I have tuna...