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August 2007
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October 2007

September 2007

Quilt Humor in Primetime

I don't watch much TV.  Whatever little time I have, I would rather spend sewing or visiting or washing my hair.  It stems from years of being a single mom and not being able to afford cable and having a child to put to bed during all the good shows that were airing.  I just got tired of watching the last 15 minutes of programs.  Or feeling like the tube got the only 'me-time' I was allotted. 

However, The Office won my favor two years ago and I have been anxiously awaiting the premiere.  Last night did not disappoint.  It was like they knew I'd be watching, because now, I want a Rabies Quilt.  A la Phyllis' applique project with bats and raccoons and things with that evil crossed out circle on them!  HAHAHAHA!  I actually spilled my water glass all over me and had to change my clothes after this random turn of events (from

Pam answers the phone and she's supposed to say something like "Michael Scott's Rabies awareness Race for the Cure something something something", people hang up on Pam. The whole office is supposed to find sponsors for a Race for the Cure for Rabies. Jan pledged 500 dollars of Michael's money. Phyllis is making a rabies quilt.

It was actually the: Michael Scott's Dunder Mifflin Scranton Meredith Palmer Memorial Celebrity Rabies Awareness Pro-Am Fun Run Race for The Cure

I believe the line that got me was: "Hey Phyllis, how's the Rabies Quilt coming?"  And a quick shot of her holding it up.  Maybe 2 seconds total, but it was enough to Mr Pink and me over the edge.  We had to rewind it just to hear what came next.  Thank goodness for DVRs.

And Yay for PB&J  (Pam Bealsey and Jim).  Love them finally getting together, but I sense that the show is better when you just want them to be...(Kind of like Moonlighting - remember that??)  Try and convince me otherwise, NBC.  Please.

Edited to add: I also want a "Support the Rabid" bracelet.  Wow.

Miss Muffet's Tuffet

Little buns like little seats...


I made this stool out of empty oatmeal cans a few months ago.  Little Fidget can drag it around for a seat, or a short table, or a base for stacking things.  She loves it. This tuffet (is that what would you call it???) was my first attempt at making one, and was based on the sketchy description a girlfriend had given me a few years ago about something her grandmother used to make for her grandchildren... So it's probably 80% close to the original.  I hope.  I do have some ideas for making it better the second time around.

Perhaps a tutorial may be in store.  I'm a couple cans short of another tuffet... (ha! No kidding!

Would anyone be interested, I wonder?

Kimmy apron

My sister was here last week visiting.  She is starting Year Two of a nasty divorce and is so ... in between things right now it breaks my heart.  It's a shame she doesn't sew.  I sewed my way through my divorce 10 years ago.  Quilts, princess costumes, reupholstery... you name it. 

Anyway.  She has such a nack for design and fashion.  Everyone who meets her senses that immediately.   She could be a professional stylist. 


So she pulled these fabrics out of my stash (a little Freshcut, some Amy Butler, and a Michael Miller) and asked me to make her an apron like the one I made from the Lila (Olive Juice) kit earlier this summer.


I didn't have enough fabric for the full skirt, but we made do.   Also, I had to use a light pink tulle for the ruffle, per her request. 


Isn't this fun?  I'll call it my 'Kimmy' apron, a la little sis.

Rambling on...

That little cool snap we had last week got me in the mood...

Fall is coming. I am willing it to come by dragging out my 'Off Season' clothes bins.  Yesterday I tossed all my beloved jeans and cords and sweaters in the dryer with a damp towel and some fabric softening sheets to freshen them up before putting them in the closet... I love this ritual! 


For the 8 years I lived in SoCal, I didn't really get to do this.  I moved things around in my closet, but it wasn't the same.  I had gotten rid of all my big bulky sweaters, except for 2 or 3 that I might want to pack on a weekend trip to Big Bear (*sigh*), but I pretty much wore outfits from the same pool of clothes year-round.  Even in the summer out there, nighttime is cool enough for jeans and sweatshirts.


Back home in the Midwest, bringing out the fall and winter stuff is such a yummy tactile experience.  I love pulling out big softie wools and cashmeres and running my hand over the variety of denims and corduroy... The sweatshirt from college I cannot give up. It kept me warm all those long afternoons at the library.  Or my first real cashmere sweater, a gift from my husband that I could wear every day,  Or all the ribbed cotton turtleneck sweaters that are so freakishly versatile and timeless I can't help but have one in every color!  LOL  A pair of cords that I really can't fit into anymore, but I LOVE, and I keep around just in case I get that skinny again. Hello, old friends.


I got out my spicy vanilla-ish housewarmer candles.  The afternoon sun is a warm, amber glow in our backyard now.  Not the harsh humid white heat of just weeks ago.  Fall projects and winter gifts ideas are starting to play out in my head, too... it's like I got bit by some wonderful cozy sentimental bug! 

Anyone else?

Groovy Girl's room

I am tired of kicking myself for not taking a full round of pics before she came back from CA.  Because I know -- heck, we all knew -- her room would never be as photo-ready ever again.  But I waited.  So I scrambled on Monday to tidy up in there and take a few pictures of my furniture refinishing projects before my sister showed up for the week. 


GG's room is over the garage.  It's HUGE.  Like 25 feet long huge.  And the ceiling makes it wierd.  And the window is small and narrow.  The room actually has a dog-leg (or panhandle, if you prefer) - so you can't see her vanity from here, because it is against a hidden wall of sorts.  This room is a challenge on a couple levels.  And it's purple, which is a color she wanted a long time ago, but I wasn't about to change this summer... so she is kind of stuck with it for now, but this color combo is growing on us.  It might get changed to pink eventually.


This wall is only like 55" high, so no mirror, given GG is already about 5' tall.  It would be too weird.  I had these canvasses from her old bedroom decor and we just tossed them up there.   

I really like how the dresser finish came out.


The TV armoire is my favorite piece.  1) because it fits in her room, despite the short walls.  2) because it hides the hideousness that was her tv, cds and dvds and stuff that goes along with it, 3) it adds more storage, with those drawers at the bottom.  Whee!


I ran out of steam in the 100 degree garage this summer, so the interior of the armoire did not get painted.  We also had to cut the back out for the tv.  Which meant slicing through the existing attached shelf.  But we tried to keep it to a minimum and you don't really notice it. 


The wall with the vanity was painted with chalk paint... so it's still several steps behind in the room makeover -- BUT, isn't this little vanity fun?



Her bed isn't very exciting, but it's what she wants.  I painted the wood to match the dresser and covered the rest with a greenish print that picks up from the other pieces.  She picked out her bedding.  Eleven year olds have very specific design preferences.


This is a corner by her closet that I outfitted with some wall hooks next to one of the mirrors that were supposed to go over the dresser.  She bought the director's chair at a garage sale this summer and insists on using it.  :)


So that's it.  It's not perfect.  It's not painted yet.  But there is a boat-load of storage now and I am very happy about that!   It's a shame we don't have before pics.  It really was special.   

Link to Hawaii pics...

Just in case anyone cares to see more about my trip, it's on my family blog... we posted while on vacation.  One, because I'm a dork,  Two, because I had to download the pics daily.  And, three, because I knew I'd never have time to journal it all when we got back, if I was lucky enough to remember all the pics anyway.

So, here's our family blog:

password: topsecret

That's the link to the first day, and you can kind of click through the links on the top for the next day... I'm putting this out there because the only reason I made it private was that I didn't want my ex-husband and his family reading it.

Enjoy.  (And yes, I pay for two completely separate blogs -- even though I could publish three on the one typepad account. There are somethings I don't need all my friends and family knowing.  And they really wouldn't care to read about aprons and stitches and, especially, my thrift finds.  This blog, if anything, is more private.  But completely total strangers are completely welcome.  LOL What does THAT say about me???!!!) 

XO.  C.

Hawaiian Quilt

I am probably VERY late to the Hawaiian quilt love game, but I'm going to gush anyway.

First of all, the quilt designs are not just haphazard flowers and doilies... Although the technique is basically the same for each quilt, they are each very different.  The flowers and other elements are identifiable by a general motif.  (pineapple, iris, dolphin, orchid, gardenia, etc.) It is understood that once you work out the technique on a borrowed pattern, that you create your own to represent you and your family.  (Combinations and variations of the general patterns.) Some of these patterns have been handed down though many generations. 

That said, take a gander at what was around the corner from my hotel room in Maui:


This one was lap-quit size.

And the middle piece?  One huge applique.  Hand-stitched.  Hand quilted.



It was so pretty.  You really should 'click to enlarge' so you can see!  I can hardly wait to make my own.  I bought a $15 how-to book (included patterns!) at a fabric store I found on Kaua'i.  The shop owner was so sweet and we chatted for a long time about these quilts.   


I also picked up a couple locally designed (but not printed, she told me -- no one prints fabric on the Islands) fabrics.  Some hula girls and a floral that I might use sometime, somewhere.. who knows?  I couldn't walk out with just a book!

For those of you who asked: We went on a 13 day trip to Hawaii: Maui (Wailea), Kaua'i (Lihue) and Oahu (the JW Marriot west side).  It was magical and mostly free (thanks to Mr Pink's work) and I can't wait to go back.  However, we came back to the beginnings of fall in the Midwest and I couldn't be happier! 

Has anyone else tried one of these quilts?  The shopkeeper compared it to doing a big paper snowflake cutout...I would think lining it up would be the hard part.)

Back in the swing...

Yes, I was gone.  I just took off to Hawaii without so much as a ta-ta, didn't I?  Well, it was a little crazy around here while I was getting everything ready and getting 2 weeks of work done for the office so they didn't miss me (too much) while I was away. 



It was beautiful and wonderful of course.  But we sure did miss the girls.

I did come back with the most gorgeous Hawaiian quilted pillow and book.  I can't wait to try this technique out.  Tedious, yes, but oh-so-pretty.  I took lots of pics of a display quilt hanging at one of the hotels we stayed at... but it's on the other computer.  I promise to post it later... I just have to get back to work.

So, for the one or two people who actually stop by my little blog.... Hi! I'm back!  :)