Saturday, August 30, 2014

A New Work Center At Last!

Here's My New Cutting/Pressing Area!  Just finished this morning!!!!
I wanted to share pictures now, cuz we all know it won't stay this pristine very long!  You know how it is...it only takes a little creative energy to cause an explosion!
Hmmm...the old yellow paint looks a little tired next to my new bright blue & white fabric...
Sheesh!  One thing always seems to lead to another!  Maybe I shouldn't go there right now...
 
The old counter top height units from the good ol' days at the Family Practice Clinic were I used to work came up from The Dungeon.  They were free standing and were given to me for precisely this use when we moved the practice into a new building.  My back will really appreciate this new height for cutting and pressing...stooping is not what we do best. 
 
The cabinets are wider than they are deep & I decided to place them so that the drawers and shelves are most accessible and so that I could retain as much walk space in this little room as possible.  That left a little hiding place in the far back corner, so what you can't see is that a bookcase loaded with books and inspiration is tucked in underneath.
 
The new upholstered top is made from a 37 x 62 inch piece of 5/8" particle board.  We nipped all four corners so that I won't impale myself!  We put the leaf back in the dining room table so we could lay everything out flat and I cut (actually I ripped) my drapery weight fabric for the ironing surface 44.5 x 69.5, then layered on a slighty smaller piece of silver coated ironing board fabric, (also ripped).  I layered both face up on top of a piece of warm and natural same size as the silver stuff.  I did a bunch of centering, smoothing and ironed out some creases and the curled edges that I had torn, then grabbed the far side and flipped it all over in one fell swoop, so that my pretty print was face down on the table and the silver was sandwiched face down now, between it and the warm and natural.  We centered the board on top of those then wrapped and stapled, folding the corners in gift wrap style.  We did a sneak peek before we stapled all the way around to make sure there were no wrinkles or distortion.  I also folded the raw edges of the topper fabric under so I wouldn't have any frayed stringys dangling down...that. being one of the downsides of tearing fabric. 
 
Before it went on the counter we put a layer of rubber shelf liner down to protect the original melamine and to keep it from sliding around.  Did you know that you can purchase yardage of that stuff off a big roll in the fabric department at Wally World?  Yep!  You sure can! 
I found the adorable drapery fabric at the "J" store in the clearance section and it was included in the 50% off sale this week to boot!  SCORE!  $7.50 a yard!!!!!  Gotta love that!  It's perfectly smooth so that I won't be "embossing" any interesting designs into whatever I'm pressing.  I also had a coupon for my Silver Heat Resistant fabric.  The warm and natural batting for that "little bit, but not too much Cush" has been hanging out in the Underground Stash Storage Unit forever, so I'm considering that free!  My sheet of particleboard was about $15 bucks and they were friendly enough at Lowes to do the main cuts for me.  Part of the leftovers from that have already been used to put a new back on a little cheap-o bookcase that now, no longer sways in the wind!  It's already back in place full of quilty books!
 
See that Iron back there?  That's my new cordless, brand starts with "P"!  Lovin' It!!!!  Not exactly cheap but SOOO worth it!  More than a Cheap-O and less than those pretty yellow ones with the "O" name!  If there's anything that can get my sewing day off to a bad start, it's snagging a big chunk of freshly squared up and ironed cotton on iron cords!  I get a little cranky when I re-wrinkle what I just un-wrinkled!  When I want a blast of steam, it really delivers!
 
Gotta Love My Birdies and Swirlie Branches!  Right????  I did!  Bought 5 yards...enough to recover when I need to, plus make a sewing machine cover...cover a bulletin board...
hmm...did I get enough????
 
 
Thanks to the tutorial from Lori at Bee In My Bonnet on how to do this I'm almost at a point that I can start sewing again...as soon as my sewing machine is found under Mount Vesuvius on the other side of the room!
 
I'm Sooooo Excited!  Can You Tell?!?!?!?!  But before I start using this great new workspace...I better start on a little dinner yumminess for my willingly helpful husband!
 
 
~Nancie Anne

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Sweet Treat.....Because All I've Done In My Sewing Room Is Rearrange It!

YUM! Homemade French Vanilla Moo-Moo Latte!
 
 
 Dispense about a cup of Crushed Ice From Your Fridge...
Splash some milk in it...oh about 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup I suppose...
add generous spoonfuls (to taste) of your favorite instant
Foo-Foo Coffee ...
(Mine is Mtn. Sibs French Vanilla...give it a sec, you'll get it...little red plastic container...) 
 Pulse these ingredients in your food processor or blender til ice is chipped up finer...smaller than pea sized, greater than sand. 
 Then add some scoop-o's of Vanillar Ice Cream and pulse, adding more as needed so its thick milkshake texture...
pour in a BIG mug from a dear friend and enjoy!
Top with Whipped Cream if you have any handy!
 
~Nancie Anne


Monday, August 11, 2014

YIPPEE!!!!!

I got mail today!  I did, I did, I did!
I was one of the lucky winners of a book and pattern, along with Vivian from Quilts and A Mug,  from the very generous Joyce Weeks at Geoff's Mom last week.  They were waiting for me when I got home from work today!
I could bearly contain myself!!! 

I did the happy dance all the way in from the mailbox!
Thank Ewe, Thank Ewe, Thank Ewe Joyce!
I'm going to enjoy both of these wonderful gifts SEW Much!
I already had the pattern "Its A Grand Old Flag" so now I need to get both patriotic quilts made
and have them hanging proudly, side-by-side!
Those pudgy crows crack me up!
Am I a lucky girl or what?!?!?!?!?!
It's A Yippee Skippee Day!
~Nancie Anne

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Busting Stashzilla With Country Corners!!!

Country Corners Block #2 is Complete!  Not too shabby if I say so myself!  I think it has a certain cuteness factor!  Again, the majority of the prints are from my ancient stash, some of them 20 +/- years old!  You see, there is some hope for me afterall!
 

I really had fun exploring some "new to me" construction processes & the precision that my 9 individual blocks, components, went together with, thanks to Lynn Wilder's wonderful, Patchwork Math Book and her "little Tipsies!" 

My biggest hiccup was the final assembly, making sure that my "arrows" were pointing inward and placing certain little cute things in corners soI wouldn't get a crick in my neck looking at them upside down!  I finally got things straightened up, after "revisiting" some seams!  Ah well, all's well that ends well!

Block #1 is lonely no more and I can't wait to make #3.  It's a Beauty!

It's a Sew Lovely Saturday!

~Nancie Anne


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Idaho PieceMakerS Quilt Show 2014

Today was the opening of the Idaho PieceMakerS Quilt Show at our local high school.  We went early and quickly so I could return home to keep an eye on our recovering patient. 
It's been quite a drama/trauma around here this week.  Our 11 month old puppy, Tess, is a CHEWER!  Her bad habit almost took her from us Monday.  She crashed and went into shock before they could get her to surgery and it was touch and go, getting her stabilized enough to take the risk of opening her up to remove an intestinal blockage.  Any one thing in the contents removed could have, would have, should have, passed "naturally" but it appears that she's been saving up bits and pieces for this event for quite some time, because, although I recognized parts of chewed toys, much of what was stuck in there, becoming a hard ball was from toys that had long been disposed of. 
I just have to say that I'm ever so grateful for my daughter, who, although works in a very busy Vet practice in California, and was seeing her own patients, was the most remarkable advocate for Tess and for us.  It's a long story, but its very likely that Tessie wouldn't be with us now, healing at home, had it not been for some persistence on my part and for our daughters intervention in helping a new grad Vet through a rough patch.  Fortunately they knew each other as Vet Techs and friends before either of them went off to Vet School and I think the support and experience of a colleague was welcome and invaluable.  Monday couldn't have been much more stressful...we truly didn't think Tessie would be returning to our arms...but she has and my face has been covered in kisses many times since anesthesia wore off!

The end of the week was so opposite...first my inbox held wonderful news from Lynn Wilder about potentially working with Marcus Brothers Fabric. Friday arrived and her good news was confirmed. 
Tess came home Thursday and the bill wasn't as frightening as I thought it was going to be.
These events were followed by the news that a good friends son has remarried and his two little girls have a new Mom who truly cares for them as though they're her own...and they got another sister in the bargain.
Then I found out I won my choice of a book and pattern from Geoff's Mom.  Thank You Ever So Much Joyce!  I can't wait to find my goodies in the mailbox!  I'll share pictures of my new toys as soon as I get them!

Todays big news is that I entered "that challenge block contest" at our local quilt show again...and tomorrow I'll be bringing home a total of 12 blocks including my winner!  I couldn't resist...I kinda fell in love with the bright paisley challenge fabric last year and had all kinds of ideas swirling in my head!  I have contended, repeatedly, all year long, that last years committee failed miserably in their prescribed standard of finding the most repulsive bolt of fabric they can to challenge us with.  Not only did I not feel any nausea or trepidation about purchasing a packet...I, in fact, bought several...I'm not going to admit how many I did buy...in two separate purchases!
I had also entered five other blocks...two or three of which I had put more stock in being winners than my silly little owl!



 
This kitty dresden block will also be returning home with me, so I think my theme will be The Owl and The Pussycat...which was one of my favorite childhood storybooks.  Some of the blocks that I selected are pretty simple but the colors are right...others passed them over...for me they will become a canvas for embellishment as I retell the tale.
 
I admit, I'm a little disappointed that a couple of them were snapped up by participants who placed higher than I did...but then again...I still have the fabric and I can recreate them if I so choose!  As a plus, I wasn't dead last in the voting this year either!  As it turned out the number of blocks entered grew from 64 to 70 during the course of the day!  The top 5 will take home their winning block plus 11 more.  The dear little lucky lady who sat in 6th place will take home the remaining 10 which fortunately, coordinated pretty darn good together!
 
I bought ONE...only one, only the very LAST one, of the packets of scary fabric for next years challenge...shall we say the committee who goes out and (usually) finds the most horrible stuff imaginable is back on track!
 
So, for your entertainment, I've made my very first Smilebox video ever for Post #101!
It is a sampling of the 175 Quilts entered in this years show. 
I hope you enjoy it!

Idaho PieceMakerS Quilt Show
Kuna, Idaho
August 2nd & 3rd, 2014
at Kuna High School
The first weekend of August Every Year!