Monday, August 30, 2010

SOLO Recap

Thirty longarm quilters descended on Caledonia at noon on Saturday.
They heard there was dessert.

Jane & Kristyn gave us the lowdown on their January sewing mission trip to Nicaragua. You can check out their respective blogs for details. Our meeting on Saturday garnered them $55 in contribution cash.
We had a flip chart for doodling quilting ideas. Too many were shy and needed some strongarming to get them over there to pick up a crayon. Or, maybe they were just preoccupied with my huge pan of (I Can't Believe It's Zucchini) Crisp?Trish from Quality Time Quilting came with her wares - many items specifically geared towards longarm quilters. 'Cause we all like to shop, eh?And as you would expect, show & tell was all about the BACK of the quilts.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Insomnia

I wish ...Too many things on my mind these days. Four quilts behind schedule, zucchini up the wazoo, tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes, flower beds filled with weeds, SOLO meeting to get ready for (I think I will need the truck), executive guild meeting to arrange, and a house dirty enough to plant potatoes in the corner of the living room.
So - baby steps.
  • finish Barb's quilt
  • make zucchini marmalade (won't DH be pleased when he's still eating zucchini in March? heh, heh, heh)
  • oops - must go to grocery store and purchase oranges for the marmalade. Drat. There's always a fly in the ointment, isn't there?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Longarm Meeting - Saturday Aug. 28th - Caledonia

If you have not received this information from anywhere else, here is the poop.

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SOLO meeting (Southern Ontario Longarm Operators/Owners/Other word that starts with 'O')

Saturday Aug. 28, 2010

11:30 – 4:30

Grace United Church

174 Caithness St. E., Caledonia, On.

Hosted by Helen Hubert (thehuberts@mountaincable.net) & Debbie Winn (dkwinn@hotmail.com)

Pot Luck lunch starting at noon.

Theme: bring your brain. OMG, seriously!! We will have flip charts and/or white boards to show & share quilting ideas. Think specifically about weird blocks you have felt really good about quilting. Personally, I struggle with Bears Paw blocks, so I’d love ideas on that.

We will also have show & tell, so bring quilts.

We will be collecting at the door to pay the hall rental (less than $5 per person).

Jane & Kristyn will be talking about their upcoming mission trip to Nicaragua. Check Jane’s blog www.janesinstitches2.blogspot.com for details of requested donations.

PLEASE RSVP BY AUGUST 27TH TO EITHER HELEN OR DEBBIE.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Jelly Roll Quilt & Garden Preserves

Last week I finished the quilting on this jelly roll quilt (my own!) so I have to get cracking on the binding.
The 'paying' job of the week (now moving into two weeks) are the drapes. Hopefully they will be completed by Tuesday 5 pm. That's my target, anyways.
Last week in the kitchen:
Monday - freeze 8 cups of green beans.
Tuesday - make 2 loaves of zucchini bread and freeze 18 cups shredded zucchini.
Wednesday - huh. I got nothin. I think I picked tomatoes with the intention of making sauce later this week.
Thursday - Red Hat day - lunch in Normandale, crepes in Port Dover & visited 3 quilt shops. Make 5 jars of raspberry jam. Had to pick the raspberries first - our neighbours are on vacation and told me to help myself - TAKE ALL YOU WANT is a direct quote.
Friday - had lunch with my brother and gave him one of the zucchini loaves. Then I went to the local quilt shop where I gifted Anne with a jar of raspberry jam, went to the library, then drove in to the city and took Mom for a walk. It was a gorgeous gorgeous day and we had a lovely mother/daughter visit.
Saturday - the tomato sauce night. When I checked the recipe I realized I needed 5 1/2 cups of chopped carrots. Definitely not enough in the fridge. Shite. Must go out and dig some from the garden. Shite again. It is POURING rain. On the plus side, I get to wear my funky rubber boots.
However, by the time I got back in the house I was soaked to the skin, to the extent that I felt like I'd been thrown in the pool with my clothes on. Even my lovely boots were full of water. The neighbours must think I have a screw loose.
Here is 100 roma tomatoes, 8 large onions, 1 bunch celery, 4 green peppers, a zillion carrots, and 4 1/2 hours. Hmm. $2.99 for a large jar at Fortinos looks better all the time. I was actually feeling resentful (even though making this stuff is ALWAYS my idea, and DH was helping by cutting the onions {cry, cry, cry} and then putting everything through the food mill, in spite of him wanting to watch a race on the big-ass TV). First, my evening glass of wine was seriously delayed. Alcohol and bubbling hot product on the stove is not a good mix. Also, I have the drapes in progress in my workroom. I could have been making money instead of sweating my arse off. Although, in REALITY, it was Saturday night and I would not have been working. Still ... But now that it's Monday, I'm no longer resentful. Everything except the celery & garlic came from the garden so this stuff is almost 100% organic. Even the seasonings came from the garden (oregano, basil, sage, rosemary). And it really smells delicious - I know I'll enjoy it in the cold dreary winter months.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Scrappy quilts

I quilted two scrappy quilts last week.
This one is freezer paper piecing.
Quilted with Flying Paisley pantograph.
Next up was this scrappy - note the tiny blocks that are used as the centres.
Quilted with a double x-hatch using the Zig Zag & Waves template.
Wednesday was the guild sewing day. It took me all day to make two blocks. The instructions could use a little improvement.
I've always been a Beatles freak. My very first record was their Twist & Shout album. Several months ago it was announced that Paul McCartney would be playing Toronto's ACC centre. I tried to get tickets, to no avail. Then it was announced a second show had been added. "HOT DAMN!!" I thought - I'd get tickets to that show. Um, no. The date for that was last Monday, when I was busy 'prepping' for my Tuesday 'procedure'. Unless I brought a Port-A-Potty with me to the concert it was not going to happen. So, what does my darling brother do?? He sends me pictures, from his Crackberry, FROM THE CONCERT. Bastard. Sibling rivalry is raging through my veins (in between potty visits).
I had to forgive him yesterday, though. He brought us a present. He & his wife live and die by their BBQ and felt sorry for us (our bbq had an incident this spring when a huge wind storm blew it over on it's face and mashed up the knobs making it suspiciously dangerous). So, I'm back to lovin' up my brother.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"The Day" arrives

Today was THE day. The colonoscopy day. I woke at 8 and gravity took hold of my watery bowels once again... mad dash to the potty. I was back in there not too much later, again. And yet once again around 9. I had two lonely cups of black coffee for breakfast. My appointment was booked for 12:15 and I was very impressed - they were pretty much on time.

I am no longer an IV virgin. The sleepy drip had me spinning in a matter of seconds. Watching the inside of yourself on a monitor while you're stoned is very weird. I remember feeling discomfort at some point, and trying to tell the doc and the nurse, but they just kept on chatting to each other. Louder, it seemed.

In the end (har har har, another pun!!!) I have perfect bowels. Not a lump or a bump to be found. DH weaved me down the hospital hallways to the car (I was still quite stoned when we left), helped me up the back stairs at home, and aimed me towards the bed where I slept the afternoon away. I expelled enough gas to fill at least three beach balls. I dunno how the doc got it all in there??? I spent the evening quite groggy and quasi-sleepy, but I'm feeling pretty much wide awake now. Great. 9:30 pm and I won't be able to sleep tonight.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Chronicle of 'the PREP' (yes, I really am blogging about it)





7:45 - nice note DH left me, eh? Ha ha, very funny. Pour my coffee & start my oatmeal. I don’t need to take anything until 9 am.
8:40 - shower & get dressed. I think I’ll be smart (!!) And wear shorts with an elastic waistband. They should be nice and QUICK to move up & down later, when I will want that feature.
9:20 - take the 4 little (seriously tiny) Dulcolax pills. Actually READ the instructions enclosed with the Purgodan powders which I’ll be taking later, and realize I was supposed to have a no/low fibre breakfast. Uh oh. Oatmeal & raisins - low fibre??? Don’t think so.
9:30 - head down to my workroom and get started on my partial work day. Things are totally uneventful so far.
11:30 - tummy is feeling... hungry? I’m not allowed anything but clear fluids & jello, so hungry will make no difference.
11:45 - maybe not hungry. Maybe uncomfortable?
12:00 - definitely bubbly/gurgly & uncomfortable. Sounding a bit like the basement sump pump.
12:10 - go potty. Not nice - will not describe. Wash hands and go back to work.
12:12 - go potty. Repeat above.
12:14 - repeat, mostly, but in the potty for much longer time.
12:20 - repeat. The elastic waistband on my shorts is feeling way, way too tight. I’m in the bathroom so long this time I wish I’d had the foresight to put on my wireless headphones. Then at least I could be listening to the radio, distracting myself from the noxious fumes in the potty. Sorry, I did say I wasn’t going to describe things, didn’t I?
12:30 - OMG, I finally manage to escape long enough to go upstairs and grab a summer shift. These shorts have GOT TO GO. Hah, hah, hah. Double entendre there. I take summer shift into the upstairs potty, where I open the window, then take a seat on the throne. I am not able to leave and wonder if DH will come home and find me on the crapper, collapsed from dehydration. The instructions indicate you must consume at least a full glass of water-based fluids every hour, but I can’t get to the kitchen. Heeeeelp.
12:40 - ok, made it out and now wearing the summer shift. Much easier on tummy. Get emergency glass of water and head down to the office where I start this journal entry. I really think this experience needs documenting, if for no other reason than I’ll likely have to do it all again in a few years, and will want to remember it in exquisite detail.
1:00 - feeling hungry again. Slightly worried, based on last time. Wander around aimlessly for a while.
1:10 - have some apple juice and go back to work. Stock bathrooms with reading material and more toilet paper. I’m pretty sure I will need both, eventually.
1:25 - back in the potty for another 10 minutes. The reading material was a good idea.
2:20 - Things have been nice and quiet for almost an hour, but it’s time for a concoction. I prepare & drink sachet # 1 of Purgodan. I really had to steel myself after reading the little caution about “if it heats up, let it cool before drinking, continuing to stir while it cools down”. It did not heat up and tasted, all things considered, ok. A combination of 7-UP and orange, with a slight but definite chemical undertone. I do know that things are going to start percolating again. Soon.
2:30 - I decide I deserve a break today. Cuddle up to the big-ass tv to watch America Sews.
3:00 - the ShamWow commercial drives me away from the tube. I am going back to work, for a while at least, and wonder what I’ll have for supper tonight. I have to choose between vegetable broth, chicken broth, or beef broth. Oh, decisions, decisions. I notice a funny little muscle spasm in my lower mid-back. Hmm. Muscle spasm? Or do we have intestines there?
4:00 - I think it was just muscle spasms. Little bloink bloink bloinks. Hunger is setting in, so I dig through the pantry until I find the orange jello package from 5 years ago. I set the water to boil and give DH pretty clear instructions to make Jello. Then I repeat the instructions. Then explain what a fruit nappy is. Once that’s under control I return to the sweat shop.
5:00 - work is finished and I head upstairs with a worry on my mind. Crap! (little ha ha ha over my choice of words), I wonder if I’ve done something wrong? There has been NO (ahem) ACTIVITY for hours. I’m due for concoction # 2 of Purgodan. Cold water, stir, stir, stir, exercise caution if it heats up, drink, drink, drink. My brain is smarter than I am apparently. I get the stuff in my mouth but have great difficulty getting my body to swallow. Meanwhile, DH is making supper. Can you tell which is which? How mean can a guy be? We shared a laugh (although I’m careful about laughing too hard. Just in case.) about how on a NORMAL day, if he’d tried to feed that pizza to me for supper, I’d have been pretty ticked off. But in the current circumstances it smells really really good. Because I cannot have any. Yum - salty and greasy makes my mouth water.
5:45 - uh oh. Just like Freddy Krueger.... it’s baaaack... Off to the potty. Pretty much just liquid now. Sorry. TMI??? (“too much information” for those of you who don’t understand acronyms)
5:50 - back to the potty.
5:55 - back to the potty. I dare not trust a fart. A rough calculation goes: if the 2:20 concoction has effect at 5:45, the 5:00 concoction should strike at 8:25.
6:40 - I thought I was done until 8:25-ish, but it seems not.
6:50 - The Niagara Farmer’s Monthly is almost finished in the downstairs potty. I need to find another periodical to keep me amused AFTER 8:30. In the meantime, we will attempt to watch a movie. Brothers, starring Spider Man, I mean Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Natalie Portman.
6:55 - sigh. Maybe NOW we can start the movie.
9:30 - several potty trips have interrupted the film. I’ve had a jello, a glass of water, a chamomile tea, a cup of broth, and I’m HUNGRY. I’m saving a second jello for 10 pm, then I’ll have my third jello for brunch tomorrow. Normally at this time of night I’d be pouring a glass of wine, but since I’ve not eaten I don’t want to get... ready???... shitfaced. Hah hah hah hah hah. Pffftt - I’m going to bed.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Rated PG13 for language

Here's a great scrappy quilt. I used my new Circle Lord toy which was part of my prize winnings from their spring challenge.
This is Square Spiral, quilted from one of the big board templates.
The batik quilt was made from my customer's prize winnings from a shop hop several years ago.
Quilted with a freehand feather meander.
This week I'll be taking part of Monday off. Calling in sick, sort of. It's ok, though, my boss is really nice. Good quilter, too. heh, heh, heh. I am calling in sick on Monday because on Tuesday I have a 'procedure' at the hospital. DH is calling in 'healthy but have to drive wife around'.
On Monday I get to prep (what a sweet little term for a most uncomfortable activity) by ingesting horrid chemical stuff that will send me running to the toilet all day long, until I can shit through the eye of a needle. Not exactly what I normally use a needle for. Tuesday is my very first colonoscopy. Oh, yaaay.

If you're still reading, I'll give you a zucchini update. Tonight I made loaves 7 & 8 of zucchini bread. While cleaning up I reached over to put the vanilla away, and realized I FORGOT to add the vanilla to the batter. Crap. (sorry - should not be using that term after the above little story) It's too late to fix it now, I'll just have to see how it tastes.
I also have over a dozen cups of shredded zucchini in the freezer, ready for winter soups, stews, meat loaves, and whatever else I figure I can bury it in.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Circle Lord Class & Billionaire Copycats

Yesterday I had two longarmers over for a lesson on the Circle Lord. This is a clip of the sample piece. In any empty areas I filled in with flowers. It has a snuggly flannel back, so I will bind and wash it, then donate it to Victim Services. Some little kid will like it.

Here are some of the billionaires who signed The Giving Pledge. If you missed the news article, here's a link. These folks have obviously heard about MY generous donations every year. How many of you have been in oh-so-grateful receipt of zucchinis??? Truly. The rich guys are giving in the only way they can. Sadly, it's just cold, hard cash.

Aww, enough silliness. I am totally pumped about this.
Thinking about all the good that can come of this money really warms my heart. Share the wealth.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Floral Applique and Buddhist Philosophy via the CBC

Floral applique with a bit of beading.
I was requested to quilt the wide border using a design based on the backing fabric.
Ooo, that was fun!
I've taken to listening to the CBC quite a bit. Although, when I'm working I either have to wear my headphones, or turn the volume up to (dangerous) stadium levels. Yesterday being Sunday, they were discussing religion in one form or another. Karen Armstrong was the interviewee (real word??). In a bit of her dialogue she was talking about Buddha and his theory of how we reach ______ (can't remember the term - enlightenment?, compassion?, other?). My bastardized version is: we must consider the thing that hurts us the most, and resolve to NEVER subject another being to that pain, be it physical, emotional, psychological, whatever. Hmm, that's a worthwhile challenge for all of us. Don't you think?