Saturday, April 25, 2009

Shopping, yes again

My mother is finished piecing my quilt and needed to go to the fabric store, to buy fabric for my sister's quilt. She has fabric, but it isn't what she needs. Therefore, I had to make the sacrifice and take her to Joanne's. Her hobby is getting expensive for me. Read on and find out just how much.

I took advantage of the last day of the twilight sale and our too many coupons and bought some beautiful pieces for the Wildflower quilt. And a few other things. A couple of books, a few trims. We went up to the register, and the cashier rung it up. It all fit neatly in one bag. She said that will be $326 something and I was about to hand her my credit card. Then my brain slowly clicked into gear from its fabric shopping contentment state. "Excuse me, can you repeat the amount again?" I knew I was buying more than I should have, but really, I wasn't expecting three digits, let alone three times three digits. Did I mention that it all fit in a regular grocery bag size bag? And that it was all 40-50% off? That we had coupons leftover that we couldn't use? Luckily I was still in the fabric zombie state, and my mother had just backed into this guy and she was so embarrassed that I found it rather funny. I had confidence in the cashier's ability to handle the situation.

Turns out, one of the quarter yard pieces I bought was rung up as 25 yards. A simple matter of a decimal point gone haywire. The fabric cutter had told me she wasn't a quilter. I guess she proved it.

Phew! Just think of the money I saved. I should be able to spend the difference the next time I go shopping, right?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Fabric Found

As I was working on the Wildfower Sampler block, I decided to look for the fabric I thought would go well with it. I had to look for it before I made up all the kitted blocks, because the fabric that is already kitted up is one quarter inch too small for the project. Aargh! So close. I found it, and it turns out to be both good and bad. It is good because the fabric is not a part of a kit for a specific project. It is a bag of batiks that is available to do with as I please. What this means is that I do not have to set aside Wildflower to make something else, in order to know what is available as leftovers for Wildflower. The bad news is that the fabric is in small pieces. There is a 5" charm pack, and I believe that every charm is different from the other. I thought that was good at the beginning, but now I wonder. I needed two pieces that were almost three inches. I am forced to make it scrappier than I originally planned. I think it will be okay. There is also a Bali roll, which is even smaller - 2 1/2" strips.

I think it is good that I realized the challenges this fabric is going to have for me early. I am going to have to save the kitted fabric for the bigger pieces and use the Bali roll for the smaller pieces, if there are pieces that small in this quilt. Don't worry, I also have bigger pieces that I used on the Beth Ferrier quilts that I can steal from if I need them.

As for the picture, no the flowers are gone now, but I haven't gotten a chance to photograph the flowers that are in the yard. I went to sweep the driveway and it started raining, which gave me reprieve, but not before reminding me that the lilacs were in bloom. I wouldn't have thought of it any other year, but this year, it smells like laundry to me!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Reading

I hope you don't think my house is so messy that I've been cleaning all this time. Well I have, sort of. Did I tell that I am allergic to cleaning? I am. I'm allergic to dust, so I have to drug up before I clean, which lowers my productivity level. That, and the 50 book limit that the library gives us. Have to return some books, so I can check out all the new ones that bloggers keep talking about.

I've been reading about the Mayflower. I'm distantly related to someone on the Mayflower - except he must not have been very interesting, because except for his name on the list of passengers, he doesn't get a mention in the rest of the book.

I am also catching up on old posts on my bloglines. I have them set up by day. Yesterday I finished reading up all the Tuesday people, so I moved on to the Wednesday people. Um yeah, Happy New Year to you too.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wildflower Block Eight

Here's another wildflower block. Doesn't Block Eight sound so much better than second block I've made? I've had some spare time this week - a big change of pace from the rest of the year. I've been catching up on the cleaning that has been put off all year. I've been anxious to start another quilt project, but I have been trying to limit myself to what I can do between cleaning breaks. Hopefully, though, it means you will see several of these blocks done this week. At least until I run out of the kitted fabric. After that, I have another kit that has fabric I could use for this one. I'll have to make that second kitted project, to see if I have extra fabric to use on this one.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

My Favorite Quilt

I cheated in the virtual Quilt Festival by giving you a link to an older post, and not following the rules exactly. The rule is to feature my favorite finished quilt. Amy was being very tricky by including the word "finished" in the rule. A lot of the quilts I thought would be fun to share were not finished. I haven't finished anything lately, and I've been wanting to finish them, and to start new, "quick", things.

The other reason it is hard to choose, is that I don't have a favorite - it depends on what mood I'm in at any moment of time. By the time I am finished photographing it, and am ready to blog it, there might be another favorite quilt!

My feature quilt is this little elephant. I had a lot of fun making it. There were no rules - I made it just for myself. First, I was playing with bleach. I found this technique on someone's blog and decided to try it. I took a potato and cut it in the shape of an elephant. Yep, just like in grade school. I felt very young again, especially since I applied grade school standards to this project. Then I dipped it in some dishwasher soap that has bleach on it. I stamped it on a scrap of fabric I had laying around, because it was a leftover of something or other that I made. I let it sit for a little while until I thought it was done enough - maybe about ten minutes, and I washed off the dishwasher soap. I didn't want it to do too much. I was really pleased with the color that came out, even though the end result didn't really look like elephants. But I figured they were good enough for elephant shaped clouds.

Then I dug out a t-shirt I had bought for my daughter a long time ago. It doesn't fit her anymore, and I don't think she wore it very often, but I really liked the elephant on it. I traced the elephant and cut that out of the white fabric which was also readily available. I sewed the elephant on to the background. Since I was in grade school mode, I brought out the crayons and colored away. Then I got out my embroidery floss and embroidered away. Not very creative, since I pretty much followed the same design as the t-shirt.

Then I bound it and called it finished! After having had followed rules for postcards and journal quilts, I really enjoyed the fact that this quilt could be whatever size it wanted to be. A fun little project, smaller than a piece of paper. No rules, no worries, just a fun play day.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Quilt Festival

Amy is having a quilt festival and you are invited.




I haven't finished any quilts lately, so I linked to this post I posted a while back that showed you several of my finished quilts.

Today was the last day of my job - don't worry, I still have jobs lined up for upcoming months - and I am hoping that I will have a finished quilt to show someday soon. I am hoping I can limit my jobs to one at a time for a while, so I can give my house and my quilts, the attention they deserve.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Results

I thought I should tell you the rest of the story about my triple coupon adventure. I went to the store on Easter Sunday, thinking everyone else would be at home with their families eating the Easter ham, and looking for eggs. Nope, they were all in line in front of me, and they had taken all of the free stuff. I'm not very disappointed - because, after all, I don't generally buy mustard or vinegar, and even though I'm sure I could have found a use for it, I am okay with it.

The biggest purchase I had was cleaning supplies - and especially air fresheners. Too bad simply purchasing cleaning supplies doesn't magically get your house clean. The average family could probably use it up in a year or two, but it might take me a couple of decades. My allergies tend to get bad, so I use the chemicals sparingly. My daughter loves the air fresheners, but she can only spray them when I am not around.

I bought $132 worth of stuff, for about $81. A 50% savings isn't bad, but it took more coupons to get to the 50%. I also bought things I wouldn't normally have bought - the Doritos - because I thought I could afford to splurge a little. If I hadn't done that, I think I could have been able to get to the 60% I showed you last time.

In other news, there is a robin that is trying to build a nest on the light fixture on the back porch. The fixture has a roof that slants down, so the nest parts keep falling down, including mud, making a mess on my porch and the wall. Ugh! This is probably the third year in a row that a bird has tried to build a nest there. Note to birds: it doesn't work. Try elsewhere.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

I have the day off. Really and truly. Both of my jobs had been scheduled for today, but one of them decided to close for Easter. I was supposed to do the other one today - to keep it from interfering, payroll wise, with the job I just finished last week. But they were worried that the electricity might go out, and I shouldn't wait until the last minute, so they adjusted the payroll so I could start earlier. I was off Friday, and decided I might as well get it done then. I can't do any more work until tomorrow.

I really and truly have the day off. I almost don't know what to do with myself; it has been so long.

There are a few things that will take up my time:

1. Our local grocery store has turned my couponing world upside down by announcing triple coupon days. Coupons 50 cents and under will be tripled. They generally double all coupons less than a dollar. I have prepared myself - made sure all the coupons were clipped and filed away. I also arranged them so all the ones under 50 cents were in the front, so that I won't take too much time looking through the box when I am in the store. I also have a list of things other people have gotten free or very cheap in this promotion.
Because so many coupons are now over 50 cents, I bet the grocery store might even save money on this promotion instead of having their usual double. I hate to avoid the bigger coupons in favor of the smaller $ coupons, but it is a limited promotion, so hopefully I can give the bigger coupons their turn next week.
I staged the photo with my expired coupons. See there are more big coupons than small ones. Wow, I am throwing away a lot of big coupons!

2. Today, I found out about a nifty new program that creates timelines for you. I already have created timelines for our family - when each car was purchased, each baby, each house, etc. - this helped tremendously in dating photographs. Now I might be able to turn these photographs to make our timeline look really spiffy. I know, I still need to scan a lot of the old photographs, but I have yet another motivation to do so.

3. It is Easter, and I have to do the obligatory eating of chocolate. I should buy some more to make sure I don't run out. Especially if I have to share any.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Winding Down

We had a delicious dinner at my mother's house yesterday. I really like how her living room has artwork that represent all four seasons. My brother painted this fall scene, and my sister picked out a frame for it. The photo is from when she received it, not how it looks on the wall.

Two of the work projects I am involved in are winding down, and we are making sure that everyone understands all the close down procedures, and we don't forget anything. Don't worry, I have two more projects lined up ready to replace these two.


I had imagined sewing down a binding on a quilt during my free time at work, so that on my label, I could write that I had finished at such or such a job, like I did with my election day quilt. I am getting antsy that I don't have a quilted quilt to bind.

Instead, I have been making more Moondance blocks, and progress on those blocks, and therefore that quilt, is slow but steady. I took Quilt Pixie's enthusiasm for making pieced blocks, and lately have been working harder on perfecting my applique technique instead of merely chugging away to finish. The flower shapes look much more like the original cut out than they did before. And I have been trying to take Finn and Michele's Frugal Friday techniques to be satisfied that I am furthering the finishing up of something instead of making something brand new.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Picture in your mind

There are no pictures on this post. I'll have to paint some pictures in words for you to imagine.

I thought I should take some pictures of some pretty spring flowers to show you our spring. Except that when I thought about it, I didn't see any spring flowers. The next morning, I did see some signs of spring. It had just rained and all the worms were out on the sidewalk to avoid drowning. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with me. Fortunately for you.

Then I went into the building. Imagine rows upon rows of tables. On each table are several flat panel monitors. All facing the front of the room. Each monitor comes with a computer that is on the floor, and a comfortable adjustable chair. Each station looks exactly the same, except some monitors might be positioned slightly differently than their neighbors. There are 300 people, all sitting in rows facing their screen. The only sound you hear are the clicks of the computer mouse. Maybe a little shuffling or cough n ow and then. A sniffle or two. If you close your eyes, you would probably think you are alone in the room. It is a tranquil environment until you hear a rip from someone pulling a tissue out of a tissue box. And an even more explosive sneeze. And another one. Nobody says "bless you" because they have had to put up with this sneezing and sniffling all day. Over and over again. As you zoom into my station, you can see that I have my own tissue box that almost empty. The trash can, which I confiscated, is half filled with tissues. My nose is red and my eyes are watering. Luckily I am sitting at the end of the table. In an effort to comfort my desk neighbor, I have told her not to worry about viruses, because what I am experiencing is an allergy to cats. Instead of feeling comforted, she is feeling guilty because she owns a cat. It is probably my sister's cats that did this to me, or technically, their dander, but probably more than half of the people in the room own cats too, so moving from my neighbor is not likely to help. Even if I would have had my camera with me, the photograph would likely have been blurry, so yet again, you are fortunate I didn't have my camera with me. And you definitely wouldn't have wanted to see the scene if it wasn't blurry.

I made a couple more applique blocks last week - you can think of the Moondance flowers I showed you earlier and picture them in other color combinations. Ahh much better. Seeing the stack of finished appliques getting bigger and bigger is very satisfying.

And yes, I feel better today, so hopefully the scene won't be repeated today. Although it is raining again...