Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric... Welcome to the Patriotic Quilter where I like to share all things quilty as well as red, white, and blue! Please feel free to look around and enjoy yourself! I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Updates and Tidbits

My update and a brief review of the weekend

1.  We found out that our stuff will finally get to our house on Thursday!!!!  I think my husband will get the day off Friday, as well, and so if we power through, maybe most of the unpacking can get done by Sunday. 

2.  Thursday is also the day my car is supposed to arrive, maybe it could be early?!!

3.  We finally moved out of the guest house/lodge/hotel and into our house on Saturday.

4.  Saturday night--well, make that early Sunday morning--4 am, the smoke detector batteries started chirping in 2 of the detectors upstairs.  My husband slept through it.  I don't get that AT ALL. 

5.  Sunday morning at 7 am, my husband made a trip to the store for batteries.

6.  I've been grocery shopping three times now and I still need lots. 

7.  Don't buy a microwavable lunch if you don't have a microwave!!! 

8.  My recent Sarah's Revival block is getting done.  I am getting the "kit" which means they send the patterns and red fabric for the applique.  I provide the white background.  One of the reds that I was sent was no good for me becasue it had large, white dots and I was afraid they would "bleed" into the background.  So I substituted one of my own reds and silly me!!  I chose one that isn't a quality fabric and it is ravely to beat the band and it won't hold a crease and I'm really struggling with it.  Please, if you are trying out needle-turn, do use good quality fabrics.  It makes all the difference!

9.  I'm liking the house, but still haven't "bonded" with it.  I'm cleaning it, trying to get it to feel more like "ours."  It doesn't smell right, and still doesn't feel quite right.  I have a feeling that it will once it is filled.  There really isn't anything sadder than an empty house.

10.  The best thing about the house has to be my quilting room!  I'm trying to make a decision on what to use for an island/cutting table.  I can't wait until I can get in there and sew!  I fondled with some of the fabric I bought on our trip here and refolded some of the quilts that came in our hold baggage.  I LOVE COTTON!

11.  I've been without most everything since early June.  The things I really miss--besides the contents of my sewing room?   A pencil sharpener (I cannnot stand a dull pencil and I've NEVER been able to get a mechanical pencil to work for me), a clothesbasket (I bought a new one when we arrived here in Virginia), and most of all--a printer!  What everyday object do you think you would miss?

And saving the best for last...

12.  Last week Freda had a post about making those lovely beaded stilletos out of turkey lacers, and as part of the post, she offered a drawing for the winner's choice.  And I won!!!  It really was no question which one I wanted, and it arrived yesterday. 

Isn't it gorgeous and perfect for me?  I love it so much, Freda.  Have any of you found her blog?  I really enjoy it--do check it out if you are interested.

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, July 30, 2012

My July Schnibble

Hi Everyone!

I was going to call this post "updates and tidbits," but then I remembered that I need to post about my Schnibble for July before I forget, so look for that post tomorrow!

Here it is:  Ta da!  My July Schnibble, miraculously "made this month."  Okay, not really.  I made it a while ago, though, in hopeful preparation for this month.  Boy was I lucky that Sinta and Sherri had a "choose your own pattern" for this month.  Back in the spring I made several Schnibbles, hoping that one may work for one of these months that I couldn't participate due to "The Longest Move EVER."

This is my version of Spot.  I was looking for a pattern (and a fairly new release Schnibble) which would showcase the chosen fabric beautifully, and this seemed to be it.  I had leftovers from making this huge king-sized quilt made from Kate Spain's Terrain, which I had made for my sister and brother-in-law's wedding. 
When I make a wedding quilt, I like to give a matching wall quilt for the first anniversary, and this Spot Schnibble seemed perfect.  I didn't realize how perfect until I saw that Terrain was the fabric Carrie used to make her version!  This now make two "un-original" Schnibbles,  (I also used Origin for Bibelot.)  That bugs me a bit, until I look at both quilts and really love them.  I am going to try to be a bit more innovative later, though.

I'm looking forward to the upcoming parade on the first of the month.  Please check out Sinta and Sherri's blogs at the above link to see them yourself!  It is always an amazing day.  I can't thank those ladies enough for the excitement they provide!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Finish!

Hello everyone!

We heard on Tuesday that our stuff supposedly arrived in "the area" that day.  We were told we should hear later on Tuesday or Wednesday about a delivery date.  It is now Thursday morning and we haven't heard anything yet.  I'm trying to stay positive, but I was hoping for a Friday delivery so we would have the weekend to put things away--since my husband started working regular hours yesterday.  Before that he was on leave or "improccessing" so he had flexible hours.  I'm telling myself that if we don't get it this week at least we will have a free weekend to explore/junk again.

Meanwhile, I spent the day in the room yesterday.  We only have one vehicle right not--something I may not have mentioned before.  My car is still making its way here, as well, and is due on Aug. 2.   My husband's vehicle is a 3/4 ton, huge pickup with a long bed and I haven't driven it in at least 4 years.  He hasn't driven it all that much in the past 3 years as we left it at my parent's house when we lived in Hawaii. 

I occupied myself by appliqueing!  I actually finished the Sarah block that I started back in Hawaii.
And I started another.  Hopefully that one will go more quickly.

While we are living in a hotel room, we do have a small fridge and a microwave, so we do breakfast and lunch in our rooms.  We sometimes go out for dinner--especially to the places that we didn't have in Hawaii, but we also frequent the D Fac.  Do you know what a D Fac is?  It stands for Dining Facility--in other words, the Army mess hall.  The one here is pretty new and the first time we visited I spied the cool quilt-like tile pattern.

The picture doesn't show quite the true color--the yellow is more like "cheddar" which is so appropriate for a food establishment!  The flying geese are a plum color.  Isn't it great finding quilt/tile patterns?

Speaking of the D Fac, though, we pay at the door--the price is a mere $4.55 per person--that is $9.10 for the two of us.  You can choose the "hot" line (featuring 2-3 entree choices for the day), or the grill line (where you can get burgers, grilled cheese, fries, etc.)  We have been doing the hot line so that we get  a real meal, complete with veggies, etc.  Then you can get a salad, soup, and dessert.  Here is my tray from yesterday.

No, I wasn't able to finish it all!  I shouldn't have taken both soup and salad, but when I see a good soup, I can't resist trying it, and I already had taken the salad.  And dessert?  Who can possibly turn down pineapple upside down cake?  Anyway, all of that for $4.55!  And it is good, too, not nasty like school cafeterias can be.

That is my news for today!  I hope you all have a great day!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Trying to Make a House a Home

Greetings from our hotel room.  Still!  Yes, we are still staying here, waiting (not so patiently) for our stuff to be delivered, so we can finally get settled in our house.  I was so sure we would get the call that the shipment was in the area yesterday, but it didn't come.  It is "overdue" now--I don't remember the exact day they said it should arrive but I do know it was before my birthday. 

Yesterday we finally got all the "hold baggage" shipment mostly put away.  It had some kitchen stuff, and I'll confess that I didn't know where to put some of that.  It always amazes me that a new house, maybe one even larger than the last, doesn't have the "same" space.  But then I'm the sort of person who doesn't want to waste mental energy on figuring new things out.  I guess I'm going to have to, though.

Once the kitchen stuff was dealt with, I discovered the box of quilts!  I sort of forgot that I had put half of my really good quilts in the hold baggage, along with my second sewing machine--just "in case."  (I wouldn't want to put all my eggs in one basket!)  Anyway, lots of quilts go a long way in making a house more like my home!

I actually got some applique done yesterday, and maybe today I'll finish another Sarah block.  It really feels good to stitch and helps soothe my frazzled self.  I'm just so ready for this to finally be over! 

I know the stores are full of school supplies--forcing us to admit that the summer is almost over, but on Sunday, I actually saw Halloween stuff!  Who can think about that when it is 100 degrees!  Goodness.

Have a great day, everyone!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Weekend Review

Hello Everyone!

We had a fun weekend.  Let me say that it is "birthday week."  Saturday I turned 45 and today my husband became 47.  My day fell on the weekend and so my Darling asked what I wanted to do.  What I really wanted to do was to go antiquing, junking, etc. but I did NOT want to spend a frustrating, hot day trying to figure out where to go, park, etc.

We began by going to a sweet lady's house to see this little gem which she had listed on Craig's List.
It came home with us!  I was supposed to be looking for inexpensive pieces for my sewing room, but once on CL, I feel compelled to look for great antiques, too.  Anyway--it was my birthday present.  When we left her house, we took a road to our house to drop this off.  The road was new to us.  Low and behold, we drove past an antique shop, so we turned around.  We had to go a bit further down the road to make the u-turn, and there was a whole area of little antique and "used" furniture shops.  We hit them all!  It was lunchtime when we dropped off the bureau at home.  I hadn't bought anything else, except for 2 old rulers, but I saw lots that I may want later (if it is still there!)  We still don't have all of our stuff yet, and I'm not sure what sort of room I'll have, so I was very restrained in my purchasing.  But anyway, it is the looking that is so much fun!

After we dropped off the chest, we headed to a flea market, but didn't find much there, either.  Next we went to a Goodwill and another thrift shop.  We did find a mirror for the half-bath at Goodwill.  It was only $7.  We had been looking the whole day.  The house was built in the 90s and all the wood is light oak and the fixtures are shiny brass.  The mirror hanging over the pedestal sink in the half bath was--um, how shall I say it?  Not the right style, I guess!  I should have taken a picture, but it is in the attic now, so maybe I will later.  It was a very ornate, heavy, asian style.  The mirror we found was just light oak and simple.  The scale suits the spot better. 

It was such a fun day, and it rained and stormed, too, so it wasn't so incredibly hot!  I got to have exactly the day I wanted, but without all the hassles I feared.  By the way, all of that browsing was right up my husband's alley, too.  He loves the hunt, too!

My dearest wish for this week is that our stuff finally shows up and we can get it delivered and start the final part of this long move--getting unpacked and settled!  We are still staying in the hotel and now that we have things in the house, it seems whatever I need is in the other location! 

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Friday, July 20, 2012

How about a post about... quilting!

Thanks eveyone for the nice comments about my new quilt room.  I'm excited about it and spending lots of time surfing around for ideas and bargains.  Meanwhile, we signed the lease and have the keys now and this morning we get our small Hold Baggage shipment delivered.  This is around 500 pounds of essentials, including things like kitchen implements, extra clothes, bedding, and my backup sewing machine!  Speaking of kitchens--don't worry, the house passed the kitchen inspection long before the quilt room was discovered!

Meanwhile, how about some quilting news?  I started the Sarah's Revival Block of the Month in January, if you remember, so that I would have plenty of hand work to do during this move.  Now is time for my report on what I've been doing.   Nada!  Well, I did work on one block back in Hawaii in our "camping out" phases, but I haven't touched it since.  The problem has been the lack of a comfortable chair with a decent lamp/light source.  I do have a picture of all the blocks I've completed so far:

I'm actually really wanting to finish the next block so I can complete the square!  I don't even want to think about how many are left.  This is two month's worth and it is now July.  Sigh...

I hope eveyone has a great day!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A House!

We are no longer homeless!  At least by Thursday.  We put a deposit on a house last night and we sign the lease and get the keys on Thursday.  Oh happy day!  Actually, we are staying in the hotel until our stuff gets delivered and right now we still don't know when that will be, but I'm so happy!

I didn't share with you that one of the houses we looked at was tucked back in a neighborhood.  To get to it, you make a turn off one of the main roads, and on that corner was a Bernina Quilt Shop!  That isn't the house that we chose, however.  Of the 4 we looked at, 2 had just a bedroom for my quilt studio.  The one by Bernina had a bonus room (it used to be the garage, but was closed off years ago, and looked nothing like a garage) but where the garage door had been, it had a long bank of windows.  It would have been a nice studio space.  Above that space was a loft.  It had no windows and a slopey roof line, but it could have been the "fabric storage room" with my "work/play"space below.  I really liked that house--it was right adjacent to a large pond, too, and so pretty.  It was an older ranch-style house, though, and while I could have been quite happy, my husband wanted more of an open-floorplan.

Our house-to-be is newer and open.  I can't believe I forgot to take a picture of the outside!  I will do so soon.  I do have photos of the studio space, though.  It is the bonus room over the garage.  It has a double window sort of high up, which will provide lots of light, but not low enough that the sun could shine in my eyes.  It is down a few steps from the rest of the second floor, and there is a short staircase up into the attic (lots of storage space in there for our Christmas decs, etc.!)  The studio space also has a nice-sized closet.
This is the view when I came down the stairs from the second floor and look right.  You can see the steps and door to the attic.  I really like that nice space to the left of the stairs.  It is a perfect nook for something--maybe my scrapbooking cabinet.

Another view of that great nook and the start of the wall opposite the other stairs.

This is the whole wall opposite the stairs.  It has a window, too!  I love the wood floor!  No carpet to hook spilled pins!

This is the wall at the front of the house, opposite the attic steps.  The bottom of the window is probably nearly 4.5 feet off the floor--maybe more.  I think it is just above my shoulder.  I think I will have my machine set up along this wall.  I would love to find a table that just fits inside that space under the window.  Have I ever shared that I'm a person who really wants somthing to fit a space exactly?  When we got a new entertainment center, we also got a new tv and I didn't care one bit about the "quality of the picture," the brand, or any other features.  I shopped with my measuring tape to find the one that fit the space as completely as possible.  But I digress....

This is the final wall--the one that shares with the steps down from the second floor (you can sort of see them just to the left.  You can see the nice closet!

The closet only has a bar and self above it.  Perfect!  I think my shelves for my stash will fit in underneath, and I can keep the fabric closed up away from dust and sun.

I'm thinking that I would love some sort of island for my cutting, and then I need to decide on a pressing station.  Needless to say, I'm spending my extra time looking all over the internet for great studio space ideas.  Have you seen the idea for an island where you take two shorter dressers and put them back-to-back and then top them with a work surface?  I'm considering that.  I'm also searching through Craigs List.  I don't want to spend a lot of money and you just never know what you might find out there!

I would LOVE to hear from you with any suggestions or other tips/tricks that you employ in your own quilting space or have come across in blogland!


Monday, July 16, 2012

No, I haven't fallen off the world--it just seems that way.

Hey everyone!  I'm still "here."  It has been a bit difficult keeping track even for me, but I can update you now.  We are finally "here!"  It has been a long move, and while not over yet, at least we have arrived.  We got here on Friday--the 13th.  Of course!  No, our Friday was good.  We had left our daughter's in Indianapolis on Thursday morning and managed to travel as far as Lexington, VA.  We made it a really long first day so we would have a shorter second one.  It turns out that Lexington boasts some great antique malls, so we shopped and browsed in one before we hit the road.

We made it to Williamsburg for lunch.  Williamsburg forms the northern edge of this area, so that was great.  We saw a freeway sign for a Chick-fil-a and becasue we rarely live by one, we went there for lunch.  Alas, it turned out to be "dress like a cow and you get free chicken" day!  It was packed, but the costumes were great.  Boy, people will do anything for a free lunch!

We arrived here at Ft. Eustis around 2 or so.  It was too early to check in, so we went to my husband's new work to meet our sponsor.  They met him at the door with his new work Blackberry.  No wait, that is an exageration.  THEY MET HIM OUTSIDE WITH IT!!!  It is so funny.  I really hope it doesn't turn into being a real electronic leash...

After we toured the building and met everyone (oh yeah, we were all frumpy from two days of car travel--great impressions) we were able to check into the guest house. Once we were settled, we got out the gps and my list of potential houses and we set out to do some "drive-bys."  I had set up appointments to look at 4 this weekend, plus the military house that we were offered here.  Normally we live in military housing, but the house here seems really small compared to our last few AND the same amount of money could get us something pretty wonderful off post, so we are investigating those options. 

All of the houses we looked at, I could have moved into.  They were all really nice.  I think by this afternoon we will make our decision.  Our furniture and things should be arriving in the area this week.  We will know more about that later today, too.  I just want it to be over!  I'm tired of being homeless!  One of the reasons I haven't written more often is that I didn't want to start whining...

Hopefully tomorrow I will have more to report!  Until then, have a great day and stay cool! 


Monday, July 9, 2012

Presidential Library

Saturday, my parents, husband, and self went on a road trip to Grand Forks, Michigan.  Our feature destination was the Gerald Ford Museum.  Have any of you ever visited a Presidential Museum/Library?  They are very interesting places to visit.  I was there before, but my husband wasn't and we have also visited the Nixon one in California, and the Truman Museum in Independance, MO.  What I enjoy most of all is that they ususally focus in on America during that administration--so you can experience the America of that time period.  In this case, it was the late 70s. 
Remember disco?

One of the other things I really like to see are original artifacts--pieces of history.

This is THE ACTUAL letter by Nixon resigning his Presidency.  I'm telling you, the huge impact that this simple sheet of paper had on not just our country, but the world as well, about gave me chills.

You may be wondering why I was so excited about having a quilting experience to share with you, but instead I'm sharing a Presidential museum.  The reason I was looking forward to visiting was becasue of this traveling exhibit:
 It entails three different art quilt traveling exhibits.  While we were there, the Beyond Comfort and Creative Force collections were on display.  As we were buying our tickets, the employees reminded us that there was no flash photography in the Ford area and no photography at all in the quilt exhibit!!!!  Oh, no!  So my whole basis of wanting to share with you was eliminated.  Rats!  I was really excited to share these pieces with you because in the Beyond Comfort exhibit (the premise of this exhibit was to push the artists beyond their comfort zone, but I love how the name also suggests "beyond the comforter" in other words, quilt as art, not just a blanket.)  a friend of mine has three pieces.  I may have mentioned her before.  Kristin LaFlamme was in the same guild as I was in Hawaii, and she is also a fellow Army wife.  She has done an extraordinary series of aprons from the Army Life.  Three of them were displayed.  I've read her blog posts about some of them, but have never seen any up close.  The workmanship is amazing.  I also found that they were quite powerful and they really spoke to me.  I really wish I could have shared them and some of the other pieces in both exhibits. 

I can show two quilts that were in the Ford displays.  Remember that his administration encompassed the Bicentennial?!

 Do you also remember that it was the Bicentennial the helped 'bring back' the interest in quilting? 

I also spotted this poster in the section about inflation and the oil crisis of the late 70s.  I would love a copy for myself.

After we left the Ford Museum, we had lunch and then stopped at this incredible home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  It is gorgeous!  It is open several days a week, but not on Saturday, so we were unable to go inside. 

 We had parked on the side street.  While sitting in the car waiting for the rest of the party, my Dad pointed out the huge, blue Victorian house that was on the opposite corner of the Wright house.


 He didn't want me to notice the house so much as what was hanging in the backyard:
Heads!  It looked like a mobile made of mannican heads.  How grotesque!  And in back of these stately homes!  I was intrigued by the juxtapostion. 

You know, you just never know what you may see next.  Are any of you having any "backyard adventures?"


Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Mainland

Hi All!

I'm sorry I haven't been blogging much but what with hotel stays, airplane flights, and a six hour time change, things just don't seem "normal."  I have been having a few adventures and have taken several photos, but I don't know where the camera cable is right now.

We did make it here.  I'm currently at my parent's house on the shore of Lake Michigan, so there are still beaches in my life!  Our daughter drove up from Indianapolis for the Fourth--staying over night!  It was so wonderful to see her!  We will be heading down her way next week.  We did a traditional picnic for the 4th, but we ate inside.  I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but it is freaking hot here on the mainland!  Over in Hawaii, it was "80s everyday" as I described it.  It never gets too hot there, so we were a bit spoiled.  We are learning fast, though. 

I seem to be having a harder-than-usual time adjusting to the time change.  I'm taking no naps so that hopefully I can go to bed and fall asleep.  Last night it didn't work--I was awake until 3 AM.  Ugh. 

Living the resort life for a few days in Hawaii was awesome.  I indulged myself by having a one hour Swedish massage.  I figured if we save $300 by cleaning our house ourselved, at least I could spend a little on a massage.  (I've "earmarked" the rest for fabric, etc. but let's don't mention it to my husband...)

Here at my Mom and Dad's we are getting spoiled by the wonderful meals.  We had a chef's salad for lunch yesterday that my Mom created.  She makes awesome salads.  Mine don't even compare.  It had a small bed of fresh-picked from the garden lettuce;  chunks of real ham; fresh peas; blueberries; chicken; cheese; the most awesome, buttery avacado; grape tomatoes; bacon crumbled; green onions; and two kinds of nuts.  I probably forgot many other additions, but I know I couldn't even eat half of my plate of salad.  Yum!  Also there have been fresh raspberries and blueberries for every breakfast. 

I'm off this morning to have an adventure that will include some quilts.  I'm taking the camera and then will spend time looking for the cord so I can share.  I'm really excited about it!