Anyone seen my brain?

So, I’ve been at retreat since Thursday and accomplished tons.  But that’s for a later post.   And before you ask why, it’s because I’m the mom and I said so.


Today, I’m working on yet another Bonnie Hunter pattern.  For someone who doesn’t like scrappy, I’ve seemingly leapt from the precipice of sanity with a rebel yell of ‘screw it, let’s do it!’ and ne’er a fair-thee-well.  Or maybe that’s frat boy.  🤔.  Whatevs.

Idiot.

So, back in January when I had my lady bits yanked and was confined to home for six solid weeks (sounds fun in theory, but the reality is like being promised a night with Tom Selleck and getting PeeWee Herman.  I want to shower in bleach just thinking about it 😱).  

Where was I?

Oh, yes.  Post-surgical recovery.

So, here I was: a nifty abdominal incision, unable to lift anything more than my own substantial badonkadonk into and out of the recliner (because we’re idiots and bought a really tall bed I had no hope of clambering into for the foreseeable future); and a dachshund with questionable mental faculties, the temperament of a band of pillaging Vikings, and a penchant for nesting in my lap atop aforementioned incision and not moving.  Ever.  

Geez, I’m tired just writing all that.

Anyway, what I was, was bored.  My days and nights were flip-flopped and I’d be awake all night with Jessica Fletcher and an endless loop of infomercials.  I was *this* close to caving in and buying a Square Dance Pan, but that woman was annoying.  Like a lifetime of wearing granny panties and suddenly switching to butt floss aka thongs.  Annoying.  But I’m still not convinced I don’t NEED a Miracle Bamboo Cushion.  And my bodily neighbors to the north might really be on board with a Miracle Bamboo Bra.

Yet again, I digress.

Once I got myself straightened out timewise, I thought it’d be brilliant to cut out some quilts.  Never mind the fact I had pre-surgical time to do this.  Nope, pre-planning is for funerals.  Just saying.  Never mind that I was the lone passenger on the Narcotics Express and made a valiant attempt at wielding a rotary cutter whilst under the influence and scared the bejeebers out of myself.  But what I did have going for me, was my Accuquilt Studio.

Light.  Bulb.  💡 

Generally speaking, I’m fairly bright.  Unless you ask The Codefendants.  To them, all brain function ceased in 1999.  But still, I’m not dragging knuckles through the gravel and I manage to not disgrace myself by wearing pajamas to the Walmart, so, you know, there’s that.  Sigh.

I thought why not use this nifty device, sorry, I’m back to the Studio here (squirrel!) and cut out the roughly six million pieces in this quilt!  Woohoo.  So, I got down to bidness and proceeded to cut out the required 1 1/2″ strips I’d need.  And then it happened.  

The instructions clearly stated to cut 1 1/2″ squares.  And being a good citizen, I did.  

No questions.  

No qualms.  

Instructions say cut, I cut.

And before you say it, yes, I am well aware I could’ve strip pieced these.  The thought has occurred.


Someone hold me.

Our day in the big D

The Co-Defendants were on Spring Break this past week.  His Awesomeness spent it job hunting. The Diva spent it in bed with the flu.  Are my kids party animals or what?!

She awoke Saturday morning fever-free and chomping at the bit to get out of the house…anywhere.  It didn’t matter one whit where we went or what we did.

As luck would have it, this past weekend was the Dallas Quilt Show.  I offered it up as an option and she jumped on it.  You know your kid is desperate for a change of scenery when they typically equate the fun of attending a quilt show with animals chewing off a limb to get out of a steel trap.  But she agreed and our plan was set in motion.

Now, I’ve expressed my displeasure plenty of times about the sanity (or apparent lack thereof) of Dallas drivers.  There’s the incessant lane changing, like squirrels running amok amongst tree branches, the complete disregard for any posted speed limit, and the fact that all cars in the metroplex lack turn signals.  I will say, however, that they seem a rather tolerant lot, letting me exercise my own inner squirrel and lane change at will without honking and waving of the middle finger.

This is where The Diva wants to live when she grows up.  Sigh. 

After a fairly uneventful drive up i.e. no one died, we arrived at Dallas Market Hall.


We quickly ran into several friends and I even managed a picture with Miss Boston.  Thanks for the hug, Lori!


For The Diva, it’s all about the quilts and she quickly shuffled me up and down the rows of vendors so we could get to the meat of the matter.  But, but there’s shopping to be had!  She was on a mission.  Alas, no pictures because I didn’t get the accompanying info so I can’t give credit.  Sigh.

We made it about halfway through and she decided she was famished.  In a week, she’d dropped three pounds she didn’t need to lose to begin with.  We sat down to a 1/4lb Nathan’s hot dog.  Divine.  And how about the death ray glare (see pic below).

Throughout our day, The Diva kept the conversation running and no topic was off limits.  This is a change from the norm, because like me, she tends to be quiet and private.  I’ll wait while you finish snickering over that one.  The only thing I’m allowed to share is that she loves ‘old people’ (her term, not mine and yes, I fit into this category) and that they smell nice.  I’m not sure if this is weird or endearing…or both.  But, two thumbs up old folks, y’all smell great.  🤷‍♀️ 


After lunch we were back to the quilts and wound up having our picture taken in front of the selfie sign.


And yes, at twelve years old she’s taller than me.  😭.  At least I’m taller than the dog, never you mind that she’s a dachshund.

We came to the end of the show and, as promised, I took her to the two-story Barnes and Noble I’d stumbled upon last fall.  Three cheers for books! 📚 


After a quick snack, we were on the road and headed for the hacienda.  But not so fast!  Dallas weather had other ideas and it took for-ev-er to get out of town.  And no, I didn’t take this while driving.


Interestingly enough, the usually pedal to the metal drivers slowed down to a snail’s pace, sometimes coming to a complete stop.  I kept waiting to become someone’s hood ornament.   Yikes!  Three hours later, we made it home.

For being rushed through the shopping portion of the show, I’d say I made a pretty good haul.


I got a non-skid pad for Lenny the Featherweight’s foot pedal from Woodturnings by Tim.  The Diva and I scored some yummy smelling soaps and an Everything Balm (good for anything that ails ya) from Goodies Unlimited in Guthrie, Oklahoma.  Some Laurel Burch socks and sewing themed bandages rounded out the early purchases.

I snatched up a quilt kit because of all the low volume neutrals it had that my stash is currently lacking.  I bought several patterns, all different in style and some completely outside of my box.  Can you say ‘appliqué’?  Gulp.

I also picked up two mini wool kits to work on at an upcoming beach retreat in September.  Hey, I’m thinking ahead here!

The Diva proclaimed she had the best time being with old Mom and I have to say time alone with her was fantastic.

Until next time.

While the Cat’s Away 

The bards were right on the money about distance and hearts and fondness.  I for one am an advocate of getting away for a bit from the spouse.  Isn’t that why quilt retreats were invented?  Himself gets to do his thing: cars, beer, scratching without nagging. And I get to do mine: shop, read, quilt.

Such was life at ye olde homestead this past weekend.  The Testosterone Twins hied off to Louisiana for the Power Tour (cars and, most assuredly, questionably clad female folks) while The Diva and I stayed behind.  

All alone.  On a payday weekend.  Heehee.

I’ve had some experience with being left to my own devices while my better half attends one of his car events and, I must say, for a brief time it is divine.

For one thing, I didn’t cook all weekend long.  Can I get a hallelujah?! 

I introduced The Diva to the wonders of Double Dave’s peproni rolls.  Yes, that’s how they spell it.


I’d already told Himself that I wanted new dishes.  It’s been almost twenty years and I’ve tired of them.  He looked a bit nervous until I assured him I’d keep him.  Unless Tom Selleck called and then I’d have to weigh my options.


Yep, that’s turquoise and avocado green.  They’re fun and funky and practically indestructible.  And they play nicely against my Lustro ware circa 1950s kitchen canisters.

We started our weekend with a lively discussion of fashion do-s and don’ts. Apparently, this is okay…


Camel toe, is not.  No pictures.  You’re welcome.

Saturday morning we set out for local antiques shops, on the hunt for vintage Pyrex and linens. Let me say up front: The Diva was a trooper.  Sure, we only made it to three places, but when they aren’t air conditioned, that’s the equivalent of ten.

Our first stop was to downtown Lorena and Just for You, which is in an old bank/post office building.

Check out the ceiling tin!




Funny how peeling paint lends ambiance in someone else’s place.  In mine it just looks redneck.

And look at the view into the courtyard.


Alas, no Pyrex, but The Diva just had to have this miniature.


As if one real live miniature isn’t enough. 🙄 

Then we crossed the street to Center Street Antiques Mall.  If I were one of those folks who takes pictures instead of standing in the aisles slack-jawed, I’d have something to show you.  But, no.  They had everything and then some as my grandmother would’ve said.  And they had these.


My covetous little heart spied a nearly perfect set of four mixing bowls, but my stomach dropped at the asking price.  What would it take to own them?  Could I hawk a body part, sell a child? 

I guess some of my Nana rubbed off because I talked him down and brought these home.  Along with all my parts.  Oh, and the kid.



Don’t they look right purty in my cabinet?


It’s the little things, y’all.

I’d scored the blue bowls a few days before the boys’ departure.


Next up: downtown Waco and Hey Sugar!

It’s the newest candy shop in town and a must stop for The Diva.  Retro music blaring, bright colors, and a hearty “hey, sugar!” as we walked through the door.  Whats not to love?!


It was packed to the gills with children who thought their grubby mitts were perfect devices for plucking unwrapped candies from their bins and harried parents.  I tried not to think of all the cooties.

The Diva was in heaven.



Here she is Saturday night, ripping the head off a gummy frog.  🐸


There are no words.  Ugh.

There was ice cream, too.


And an interesting door.


And this questionable photo angle.  Geesh.


There was the requisite visit (or two) to the bookstore; the pool; a viewing or ten of Zootopia (a kids’ movie that’s actually good); and a stop at the quilt shop.  We had a blast!

The boys have since made it home, complete with sunburns, tshirts and one cracked windshield.  Don’t ask.


We’re pooped, but what a weekend!

Revisiting Mary Ellen’s Sunflowers 

You remember this quilt top?


It’s the one my great-grandmother made, the one desperately in need of quilting, the elephant sitting squarely in the middle of the quilting room.  Since that blog post in 2011, I haven’t touched this baby.  I decided this was the time.

Luck and an escape from work allowed me to hit the road to Brazos House in Rainbow, TX again for the second time this year.  Squeal!  The Diva claims the chuckle I emitted and happy dance I performed were just this side of pure evil.  Something told me this wasn’t kid code for cool.  So I did what any self-respecting mother would do.  I hopped on my broom and blew that popcorn stand, leaving behind His Awesomeness who may or may not have marked my departure as his good fortune; The Diva who bemoaned being left behind with two testosterone laden beings; Himself, whom I’m fairly certain I kissed as I blew out the door; and the dog, whom I’m sure is planning a retaliatory poop for my return home.  Be sure to flick it onto the carpet like last time, you little schnitzel!

Himself just stood there and looked like he’d been shot out of a cannon.  

There may be carnage when I get home.  At the very least, the house will look like a merry band of marauding Vikings encamped in the living room.  But for a few days of quilting in the country, I’ll take it.

The Diva and Himself (before becoming cannon fodder)

The more I make this trip, the faster it is to get here.  This may or may not have something to do with my willy-nilly adherence to posted speed limits and my general disregard for my own personal safety.  I like to think of it as survival instinct.  Only in reverse.  Because, even though I love ’em, sometimes a little distance makes me love them even more and want to kill them a little less.  Mommy loves you guys!

My mission this go round was to make headway with quilting the sunflowers.  You remember them?  Go back and read the beginning of this post.  I’ll wait.  Yes, I got sidetracked, but I’m back now.  Keep up.

The going is slow and tedious and requires significant snackage.  Yes, that’s a word because I said so.  Don’t argue with Mother.  Here’s a bit of progress.  I’m not showing it all because I’m mean and I want you to come back for more.  Plus, I haven’t had coffee yet so I’m not even human.


These colors aren’t true, but I’m making do.  They are, in fact, lighter and more toward the pastel side of things.  Eww.  Again, I digress.

There are twenty (pause for dramatic sobbing and liberal use of tissues) blocks.  Twenty.  Like what I was twenty-two years ago.  

I am going to die before I finish this thing (more sobbing and perhaps a fit of the vapors.  Where’s my fainting couch?) !!!

I did have a nice walk yesterday morning, with two lovely escorts.  I bet their bathroom business isn’t vindictive.  Take note my dictatorial dachshund!


And there was a trip to Babe’s for chicken fried steak.  Yes, that’s leftovers.  In my purse.  You can never be too prepared.


I’m not so Pollyanna or delusional as to think I’ll actually get this whole thing quilted, but a quilter can dream.

Until next time.

Of Quilts, Kids, and Questionable Odors

Mine is a world filled with the wondrous wonderfulness that is beautiful fabric: its softness, its supple textures, its exorbitant price tag.  Pretty fabric, lovely fabric, jump into my stash.  

I always say this weekend I will sew, which roughly translates to after tending to everything else.  

This weekend, ‘everything else’ has amounted to a plethora of experiences, some of which I’d just as soon avoid.

First up, letting His Awesomeness get behind the wheel. 😱  

This child, like his father before him, is a curb hugger.  I cannot tell you the times I’ve shrunk toward the driver’s side in an effort to, please, sweet baby Jesus!, don’t let us hit that mailbox!!  He doesn’t seem to appreciate that there’s plenty of asphalt for all to enjoy.  Never mind the fact that there is no oncoming traffic.  Meanwhile, my posterior is doing something my Mama nicely refers to as ‘working buttonholes in the seat’.  As much clenching as my butt cheeks have done, you should be able to bounce a quarter off ’em. Not that you’d want to since we’ve never formally met, but, you know.  Frankly, driving lessons should fall to the father, I mean biological here, not God, but boy have God and I had some pretty intense conversations during those drives.

In an effort to relax, I turn to Lennie the Featherweight.  Sewing for me is like a wonderful night on the town with a good looking man without all those pesky expectations of what happens when you get dropped at the door.  Lennie doesn’t care if I drink or swear, wear undergarments reminiscent of grannies and he certainly doesn’t expect to be invited in for a nightcap.  

On that note, I finished one flimsy and have moved on to another.  Clearly, quilting it isn’t high on my list of priorities, like shaving my legs in the dead of winter.

I don’t name my quilts, but this one reminds me of water flowing over rocks.  I love it.   

 
I’ve started another one that’s all flannel, because obviously, when the temperatures start to climb, you want to work with fabric that’ll  make you sweat like a hooker at a Saturday night tent revival.  Idiot. 

   

This past Friday, I said goodbye to my favorite volunteer who is moving to be closer to family.  I’ll miss you, Mr. Todd.  

And to round out my week, our newest furbaby decided it would be epically delightful to roll in something that smells of a wonderful dichotomy of sewage and death.  My Lulu never did this.  I can only guess that it’s a hound thing.  Bad Ziva!  

I’m hoping this next week leaves out the surprises and just leaves me with a tighter tush.

Life Marches On

Recently, I shared with y’all the passing of my original quilting pal and our furry family member, Lulu the boxer.  To say we were and are devastated would be an understatement.  The house was too quiet even though I can count on one hand the number of times she barked and the daily routine of tending to her was so ingrained, we were all at loose ends.

There was talk of a future pet, something smaller, but not right now when everything was still fresh and raw.

Lulu

Fast forward a few weeks and I attended quilt retreat.  I arrived home flush with victory over my many finishes.  As a quilter, is there anything better than a bona fide finish?  I think not.

Anyway, I’d barely made it through the door when Himself confessed to putting in an adoption application at a local animal rescue.  

For a, wait for it….

miniature dachshund.

Hold the presses.

We’d just lost an 83 lb boxer and now were in the running to adopt a 12 1/2 lb dachshund.  Pardon me, but where the heck was the rest of the dog?  Never mind the fact Himself said “No small dogs”.

Three days later, Ziva was ours.

Meet our new furbaby and my mini quilting buddy.  

She’d already been named before we even knew we were going to get her…even before I’d made it home from retreat.  That’s optimism, folks.

And, yes, they named her after Ziva David from NCIS.  She certainly has the personality of the TV character.  

It’s just been a week and we are already in tune with her whims and wants.  Apparently little dogs know how to exert their will better than their larger counterparts.  

When it’s bedtime, it’s bedtime and you better not be getting up for anything.  Need a drink or trip to the potty?  Pay the piper,my friend, and listen to her bark her admonition.

She’s a pistol.

And, yes, I dress her up.  Guilty as charged!  
I miss Lulu so much, but I think this little girl was sent to help us through. 

   

Hug your furbabies tight, y’all.

Gettin’ Busy at Retreat

Well, here I am again at Brazos House in Rainbow, TX.  Hallelujah!

This week is The Co-Defendants’ Spring Break.  Most parents (at least the ones my kids claim are the parental units of their school chums), take their curtain climbers on awesome ski or beach trips.  For the record, I’m firmly convinced most of these folks exist only in my kids’ dreams.  Anyway…

Smart parents (like quilting mothers), throw some dinners in the freezer, bribe the darlings with some bucks for books (my kids are geeks like that…two thumbs up!) and give a saucy sayanora as they burn rubber peeling out of the driveway.  Yes, that’s me, pumping my fist in the universal sign of ‘Hell, yes!’  Shield your eyes while I do my happy dance.  I got no rhythm.

Do I feel guilty for abandoning Himself to the occasional grunts that pass for communication from the sixteen year old or the mood swings of the tween girl?  Considering he didn’t suffer through hemorrhoids the size of Jupiter, bladder control that left the building with the first kid and stretch marks that could qualify as superhighways, I’d say he’s getting off pretty easy.

And what perfect weather for sewing it has been.  Dreary, overcast, gross.  I love it!  

Before I left, His Awesomeness declared the worst part of retreat was me coming home.  Yeah, I know what you’re thinking.  Man, this chick must really suck as a parent.  What he meant was I always come home with more than I departed with.  Well, duh, I have to hit the quilt shops, don’t I?  Or it may just mean I suck as a parent.  Take your pick.

Frankly, I don’t think I brought enough to do.  

The Diva carried on like I was headed for a leper colony.  You’d think I was never coming home. 

And I’ve already finished a project.  Hot snot!  

I’m pretty pleased with it.  I think the star’s my favorite part.  

At this point, I’m pooped and figure it’s a pretty smart move for me to head on to bed.  Tomorrow is another day.  Night all.

It’s the Final Countdown 

Nothing like a little 80s hair band reference to spur me on.

Ahem…

Next week, The CoDefendants will gleefully welcome Spring Break while, moi, Quiltnmama, having higher aspirations that involve having someone else cook and clean up (not to mention being able to pee uninterrupted) will be hot-footing it to quilt retreat. Can you hear the chorus of ‘Hallelujahs’ here?

Now, what to pack?  I figure if I’ve got the necessities covered like deodorant, a toothbrush, and clean undies (you know, in case I get in a car wreck 🙄), I’m good as gold.

What projects to bring is another matter.  Take too much, and I’ll be loading and unloading the Mommobile until menopause.  Take too little and I run the risk of finishing everything.

Hahahaha, finishing everything!

I have a better chance of landing a spot with the Rockettes.

So, with today being a beauty, I threw open the windows to, in the words of my Mama, blow the stink off.  This is the same woman who advocates always wearing good underpants “in case you get in a car wreck”.  I know, the logic escapes me, too.  Never mind the fact that I’m married and no one cares about my underpants but Himself (and apparently my mother), but were I ever to get in a car wreck, you can bet dollars to donuts all the hot EMTs and firemen would be on vacation.  Yes, I’m shallow.  But if I have to be in a car wreck, dammit, I want hot men to rescue me!

Where was I?  Oh, yes…a beauty of a day.

img_2916-4

 

I have many projects in various states of completion.  Do I want to piece or do I want to quilt at retreat?  Decisions, decisions.

I decided to start another project.  Three cheers for procrastination!

I was asked to make a Texas flag quilt for a friend’s mother, so I doodled out the design. Yes, I’m a native Texan and yes, I know what our state flag looks like.  And, yes, much to the disgust of The Diva, who can do disgust with the aplomb of an Oscar-winning actress, I drew it out on a paper napkin.

final-2

I shopped my stash for the fabrics.  Yes, I know it’s as much a  surprise to me as it is to you, but really, darlings, those choking noises and looks of utter shock are uncalled for.  Stop it.

063

My friend specifically asked for a rag quilt for which I am eternally grateful as they go together quickly with minimal fuss.  Corners don’t match up perfectly?  No problem!  It’ll all be covered up by the clipped edges.  Yahoo!

I managed to uncover some Quilts Across Texas fabric from, gulp, 2012 to use in the backing.

066

All that’s left is to cut the batting.  My arm feels like it’s about to fall off and I haven’t decided on retreat projects, but, by golly, I’ve got another project on the table!

  
Come the night before retreat, I’ll be pitching anything and everything into the back of the Mommobile.  It’s a ritual if you will.  Like shaving my Sasquatch legs once warm weather makes its welcomed appearance.  Whattaya gonna do?

Sigh…

 

 

Double D…again

(Sorry if the post title brought you here looking for hooters.  Try the next blog.🙄)

The saga of Double Delight seems to be a recurring theme for me and the blog…to the point even I’m getting tired of hearing about it.  

I told my Mama just this afternoon that I’ve never been so focused on getting a quilt finished already.  Part of it is the money invested…something Himself needn’t know about.  Ever.  Never you mind the value of the fabric already in my obscenely large stash.  This monetary investment is different because I chose it with a specific project in mind rather than my typical “oooh, pretty fabric”.  And let’s not discount all the time involved in cutting it up.  Argh!

I’ve given up on actually keeping up with the quilt along.  Wait, wait.  Let me rephrase that.  Did I mention they’re finished?  Right-o!

Here’s where I’m at…at the end of Clue #2. 

And hey there, Hello Kitty pajama pants!  I saw you adorning a woman’s backside several weeks back in the halls where I work.  And, no, it’s not Walmart.  I’ve resigned myself to the fact that for a significant portion of society, pajama pants are the new yoga pants.

Anyhoo, I’ve committed to leaving the squaring up to the very last before assembling the blocks.   I’ve already had one lady comment that she’ll be waiting for the rant I’ll be posting.  Give it time, sugar!

————🐾🌺🐾🌸🐾🌼————

On another note, if you follow me on Facebook, you know the family and I lost our furbaby/fursibling/sewing buddy to cancer last Friday.  Cancer sucks.  I give it two middle fingers. 🖕🏻🖕🏻

Our Lulu was a sweetie pie.  Sewing without an 80lb boxer laying across the foot pedal just won’t be the same.

Lulu, His Awesomeness and The Diva