Back at it

To work, that is.  I started back to my regular 4am schedule on Thursday after being off for six weeks and can honestly say that I thought two days of work was going to kill me.  It may yet.

To use a family phrase, “I’m so t-a-r-d tired, that I could f-a-r-t faint”. πŸ’¨

Don’t ask.  Just go with it.

While I was out, I did eventually sit down and accomplish a few things on the sewing front.  A word of caution: do not wield a rotary cutter while under the influence of narcotics.  It’s a miracle I still have all my digits. πŸ™ŒπŸ»

Thankfully I have a handy dandy Accuquilt Studio to do a lot of the cutting now.  Of course, there are still blades to contend with, but there’s at least a modicum of foam covering them up.

I cut out four rag quilts, two of which are finished.  Do I have pictures?  Nope.  πŸ™„

I also cut out two Bonnie Hunter quilts, Garden Party and Crabapples.

The picture below constitutes the beginnings of Garden Party.  I already had a ton of Kaffe Fassett fabrics cut into the correct sizes and it would’ve been tons quicker to use them, but did I?  Obviously not.  Why make things easier, amiright?!

Lordy, but I do so love polka dots!  And I have a ton of them.  Logic said if I used up a bunch of them, I’d clear some shelf space.  I started with two and a half stacks of polka dots.  Post cutting, guess what, I still have two and a half stacks of polka dots…and another box of 1 1/2″ strips.  Yikes!  Fabric’s a lot like bunnies…quite proliferative.


Little units coming together…


And help from the dachshund.


Funny how all these little pieces didn’t take long to put together.


Until I eventually had blocks.  Boom πŸ’₯   Audiobooks πŸ“š make sewing go so much faster than watching πŸ“Ί.  Love me some Sue Grafton and Earlene Fowler! 


I’m still working on the nine patch units blocks, but I’m getting there.  The orange 🍊 makes my heart ❀️ go pitty pat.


And more help from Ziva.  Downward dog, anyone?


Then there’s the Crabapples fabric.  Look at all those 1 1/2″ squares!  πŸ‘€.  This one’s all cut out and ready to go.  


I’ve also made progress on En Provence.  With a bit of aggravation thrown in.  What is quilting, after all, but equal parts pleasure and pain?


I laid each block out on my design wall to make sure I got everything oriented correctly and discovered to my dismay that I hadn’t, despite counting and recounting, pieced enough units to make sixteen of these blocks.  There may have been some salty language bandied to and fro.  

Mostly fro, but some to as well.  

Do I go back, cut more fabric and piece the needed units?  No!, my inner toddler whined and no it shall stay.  I made a make-do block from the leftover units and a couple of solid squares.  Life sallies forth and so shall I.  I’ll post a picture when the flimsy is complete.

I also still have quite a bit of work left on Double Delight, but I took one look at it all and decided nope, not today.  For six solid weeks.  Sue me.  One day it will be done!

Toward the end of my leave, my quilting friend Deb of the blog, My Quilty World, came down my way for a retreat.  As I was feeling a bit down, I asked if I could pop in and get a dose of red-headed sunshine.  She said yes and I got a much-needed Deb hug and smile.  Thanks, Deb!  Love you bunches πŸ’

I also got this…

Photo credit: Deb Singer-Hayter of My Quilty World 

Ignore the fact that I look like a nincompoop, but holy smokes, it’s Bonnie in the flesh!!!

πŸ˜€πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜„πŸ˜πŸ˜†πŸ˜€πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜„πŸ˜πŸ˜†πŸ˜€πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜„πŸ˜πŸ˜†πŸ˜€πŸ˜ƒ

Earlier that same week, my mom and I got to watch The Diva participate in her first track meet.


Why, yes, I will be one of those obnoxious sports parents, yelling and carrying on. Too much fun!


Her events are the 1600 and the 2400.  The bottom photo was the 1600 where they combined boys and girls.  So proud of her.

Well, I think I’ve packed enough into the post.  

Until next time, its nap time 😴 .

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What a (post-surgical) girl wants

So, I’m twelve days post-hysterectomy and having all kinds of fun. πŸ™„πŸ€’β˜ΉοΈ

My doctor told me I’d be hospitalized 48 hours.  I said 24.  Working in a hospital means I want to spend as little time there as a patient as humanly possible.  As luck would have it, my doc was easy to please and all it took to get me sprung was a little crop dusting of the hallways and *boom* I got to go home.  Yay me.

I prepared for surgery by cutting out a few small projects I could work on during my recovery. I certainly wasn’t going to waste any time by cleaning the house!  Haha, the joke’s on me because there’s been just enough energy to get from the bed to the recliner and back again.  Sigh.  I so miss Lenny the Featherweight.  

My mom, bless her, sprung me one day and we and our friend, Marilyn, made a trip to Simply Fabrics.  Hallelujah for a change of scenery!

I did get the yellow squares cut out for En Provence.  Isn’t this the most gorgeous fabric?!  And yes, I know it isn’t all yellow, but it just went so well with my other fabrics.  As a side note, I don’t recommend wielding a rotary cutter while on pain killers.  Not my smartest move and, yes, I still have all my digits.


Prior to surgery, I had horrible thoughts of dying and leaving my family behind.  Who’d be around to nag them?  And I made Himself promise and swear to find a woman who was good as gold to the kids.  Not to mention my fabric stash. Can you believe I made arrangements for its dispersal in the event? Yep, I did. Now I’m worried I’ll die of boredom and wind up on an episode of Hoarders.  Welcome to how my mind works.

I’ve done a little handwork.  It’s been ages since I’ve cross stitched.  When did manufacturers start making those charts so stinking small?!

The dachshund and I have become a dynamic duo of sorts.  She’s my mammalian hot water bottle and my midnight TV watching buddy.  


We have a routine, we two.  Daytime viewing is Matlock, Columbo, and Law and Order: Criminal Intent.  Nighttime is Murder, She Wrote and whatever happens to be on the Hallmark movie channel.  All of which are punctuated by those ‘as seen on TV’ commercials.  Not to mention the weight loss ads.  I’ve never been so sick of seeing Marie Osmond and Oprah in my life.  By all means, just eat a damn chip already!!  And then there’s the ‘miracle water’ some TV preacher is hawking.  He looks like a constipated car salesman.  This isn’t your calling, darling; go find something else to do.  I am, however, on the verge of buying the red copper square dance pan and miracle bamboo cushion.  I could sit on my bum while dinner burns to a crisp in my new non-stick pan.  Woohoo!  And don’t get me started on commercials narrated by folks with accents.  I’m all set to buy a lifetime supply of Tena pads just because of the British accent.  Yeah, I’m that easy.  Or drugged.  Sad.

All in all, it’s not been too bad.  Except for the exhaustion and the stomach virus I’ve been hosting for two days.  Yay. 🀒.  Fingers crossed I can actually sit at my machine again sometime soon.  

Happy quilting!

En Provence ProgressΒ 

En Provence isn’t my first Bonnie Hunter rodeo (that was Double Delight…ugh and it still isn’t done), but it is the first one I’ve participated in at the time the clues have been coming out.  

I’m so glad Bonnie included paper piecing options for clues 2 and 4 as I’m a little intimidated by that ruler and paper piecing makes my perfectionist heart go potty pat.  Maybe someday I’ll use that ruler.  And add in the fact that these block pieces aren’t tiny like Double Delight and I am one happy quilter.

Surprisingly, I’ve kept up kinda-sorta pretty well.  Clues 1 and 2 are completed and I’ve spent the weekend working on clues 3 and 4.  In fact, Clue 3 is finished except for the pressing.  That’s close enough to finished, isn’t it?!

  

I love batiks.  I pulled all the magenta, purples, pinks and greens from my stash and barely made a dent.  I’ve had to buy neutrals by the bucketload because there’s nary a one to be had at my house.  The LQS doesn’t carry many batiks and definitely no batik neutrals so I opted to use whatever non-batik neutrals I could find.  I reasoned that if I ordered fabrics, I’d have to wait and be behind when everything got rolling.  Also, I’m cheap.  Just ask The Co-Defendants.

This weekend has been perfect for sewing.  A cold front blew in Saturday dropping the temperature to an overnight low in the 20s.  And I didn’t cook…all weekend long (until tonight anyway).


Perfect weather for sewing, chugging coffee by the gallon and letting the dachshund in and out (and in and out) to chase imaginary squirrels.  I never convinced her the squirrels were holed up somewhere toasty.  Crazy dog.


His Awesomeness and I did get out some yesterday (he’s practicing for his upcoming driver’s license test) and I managed to convince him to take me by a quilt shop I spied on the way to his girlfriend’s house.  It’s a lovely shop I never knew existed because they don’t advertise at all.  I guess that’s how you miss something for four years!  Anyway, look what I found.


Neutral batiks and some pretty flannel plaid ($6/yd from Benartex…be still my heart)!  I’ll definitely be back.  Himself just cringed at the mention of my finding a new place to drop some dough.

I’ve started spinning seams on some clue 3 blocks I’ve actually pressed and cranked up some T. Swift while readying my paper piecing templates for Clue 4.


My children didn’t appreciate head-bopping and I suffered through plenty of head shaking and looks of horror before the day concluded.  Tomorrow it’s back to work, but I’m hoping to be fully caught up by the debut of the next clue.

Happy quilting!

Any Way I PleaseΒ 

I’m now two full weeks into this whole hand quilting thing and, sarcasm aside (No, really.  Seriously, stop laughing.), am pretty happy with my progress and overall appearance of my work.

Of course, when I look at a picture of the entire thing and see just how big it is and how much quilting my hands will be doing, I get slightly nauseous.  Have I mentioned patience isn’t my forte?


But I’m having a good time and, really, isn’t that the point?  I even have company and, heaven knows, having a dog in your lap just makes the whole process sooo much easier.  


My entire focus is on getting this thing quilted and moving on.  My focus ISN’T on how I get the quilting done.  Meaning: I don’t ‘rock the needle’.  Purists tsk and occasionally give me a pained smile.  I get the same look when I say something off color and slightly obnoxious.  It’s quite fun.  πŸ˜.  Sorry, but thimbles aren’t my friends and I was focusing more on needle and thimble and not jamming anything under my fingernails than actual quilting which was very frustrating.  Please don’t tell me I’ll get the hang of it.  My father thought the same thing about teaching me to drive a stick shift.  No, thanks.

I try to work a bit every night.  Hockey playoffs mean I have to pay extra attention to keep my stitches even and still manage to scream and gesticulate at the TV.  I’m nothing if not a multitasker.  In my last post, I asked other quilters what they listen to while working away on their projects.  Let me just say that a steamy romance on audio is not the way to go. There’s just something slightly hinky about hearing someone simulate sounds and say certain words aloud if’n you get mah drift.  Hello, is it hot in here?!

Onward…

Here’s a close up of a block.  The slight gathering of the fabric really makes the petals pop although my perfectionist tendencies have my gut clenching that the block isn’t smooth and flat.


As a side note and to my surprise, look what got a shout out on Quilter’s World Facebook page.  Squeal!


Holy crap!

In the end, I am having a rocking good time.  See what I did there?  Ahem.  


I may just be a hand quilting convert.

I may also be insane.

Look in My Eye…

 

πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰Come one, come all!  It’s Two-fer Thursday at Maison Imperfect!πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰

Come see a bad, bodacious, jelly, bonzer, v.g. dachshund in her element!  She’s a sphinx in a canine kielbasa package!

Want to know just how much a dachshund’s bladder can hold?!  Want to see poo in a completely unnatural habitat?! πŸ’©πŸ’©πŸ’©πŸ’©. Want to see aforementioned dog singlepawdedly destroy a cage?!  Want to see an otherwise rational woman lose her ever-loving mind?!?! 😜😜😜😜😜😜😜😜

Today, is your day!  Look no further than Casa de Imperfect!

I cannot for the life of me figure this dog out, but if I base my assumptions by her facial expressions, and, trust me, she has them, these inadvertent expulsions are retaliatory in nature.  That’s right.  She’s a vindictive crapper.  A peeved pisser.  She’s one ticked doxie and she’s not takin’ it no more!!

And before you say it, no, she isn’t bored.  She’s got more toys than Barbie has shoes, each toy stuffed with some tasty num-num.  There’s a view of the backyard and the radio playing in the background.  NPR.  Maybe that’s the problem.  Meh.

If she had middle fingers (or fingers at all, for that matter), she’d flip them at me.  Look at this face.  This is the face that says, “Sorry, luv, but screw you.  No one owns this be-otch !”  

Don’t fall for the pseudo-innocence of this expression.  Gramma and Papa are already goners.  She’s a con man with fur; bladder and bowels her tools of the trade.

Don’t miss out on Two-fer Thursday.  As Mrs. Bowen can attest, it’s the shit!! πŸ’©πŸΎπŸ’©πŸΎπŸ’©

Where’s the bottle opener? 🍺

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.