Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Status Update!

Alright, this is what I have so far, doesn't it look awesome?!?
As of yesterday (today's mail isn't here yet), I have blocks from Suzanna, Madeline, Marianne, Claudia & Lesly. 
I'm sorry I didn't post when I received each package-- as Lesly mentioned over on flickr (and I posted here on my blog), January has not been a very smooth month for me so far.  Both of my parents are in poor health and in the last 3 weeks my dad (who will be 50 next month) has undergone 3 operations related to a hole in his intestine and resulting infection.  Not fun.  When I booked tix to fly home to see my family after the holidays I thought I would be in for 2 relaxing weeks of letting everybody play with my baby and enjoying some stress free time together.  Needless to say, that's not what happened.  Things are looking better for dad though, but he'll still have a long recovery.  I'm back in NY with mixed feelings-- I know my help is needed in Chicago, but I have a life and a family here that can't be neglected either.  I have a feeling some of you will understand how I feel.  But anyway, when I got home Madeline's package was waiting for me, and Marianne, Claudia, and Lesly's all arrived the next week.  Just what I needed -- some peace and quilting!
I've been working on my 9-patches while George sleeps and my piles are getting bigger slowly.  The blocks you have all made are really amazing.  It's so interesting to see the skills and handiwork of each of you.  I can't wait to get the rest of the blocks.

Thanks for being patient with me as far as communication goes.  Having this bee to lean on may just keep me steady all year.  :)

(p.s. on the weightloss front-- don't ask.  in my frazzled, stressed out state, I ate a lot of oreos and hot chocolate.  but looking forward, i will get on track!)

Monday, January 25, 2010

February - New York Beauty

Alright, ladies.  Fabric goes in the mail tomorrow.  

We're making New York Beauty blocks.  Here's some inspiration:

New York Beauty Inspiration

1. IMG_0490v2, 2. IMG_0492v2, 3. New York Beauty quilt, detail, 4. New York Beauty, 5. New York Beauty, 6. new york beauty blocks

Gorgeous, right?!

You may choose any 8" New York Beauty that your little heart desires. If you don't know where to start, there are some easy to follow patterns on Ulas Quiltpage.

Don't know how to make a New York Beauty? Me neither! But this Quilter's Corner Tutorial on How to Sew a New York Beauty makes it seem pretty damn easy.

I have sent each of you 9x14 cuts of 5 different fabrics. Two grays, two purples, and one chartreuse. You may supplement with any coordinating fabrics from your stash (print, batik, or solid) but you must use the chartreuse in your block.  

Any questions?

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Okay, here it is!  I finally finished Jessica's block after several unsuccessful attempts at paper piecing.  I could never get the patterns from Quilter's Cache to print correctly.  So, I went with good old normal piecing.

Shrinking Quilters' Bee #1

This block is called Louisiana. I can't believe my flying geese came out so nicely! I did them using triangles, not rectangles and squares as many people do. I think this is the reason why they're so much nicer than usual.

It's not perfectly sized... It's about 1/8" too small in a few areas. Sorry, Jessica! I still think it looks good.

By the way, I signed on the front. I was supposed to do that, right?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I'm shrinking!

As discussed in the flickr group, I have been doing cardio and core workouts at the gym each morning before work since mid-November.  At the end of December I weighed in and measured.  My waist measured at 33.5" (three inches less than in November!).  My gut-- you know, the spare tire area?-- came in at 41.5"

Yesterday, we measured again.

Waist -33.5"
Gut - 37.5"

Four inches!  I'm shrinking!

How about you?

(PS - I got started on Jessica's block tonight.  Thank the Lord of all creation that I decided to do a test block!  The template printed too small for some pieces, and so they didn't all fit together.  I'll try again tomorrow.)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Got 'er done!

Jessica's block
Here's mine for Jessica - done at last, the right size and everything! Huzzah! It's going in the mail on Monday!
Now, bring on February - what have you got for us, Jennifer?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Curses, foiled again!

Well, here is my practice block for Jessica.
practice block complete
Thing is, when she says 9" block over at Quilters Cache, she means it.  It's 9" unfinished, and not, as I supposed, 9 1/2".  Choices time.  Do I sash it?  Or go back to the drawing board, looking for another block choice?  Jessica?  What would you prefer?

Monday, January 4, 2010

100 Mile Fitness Challenge

Well, with all the quilting challenges, quiltalongs and bees that have captured my fancy lately, it's probably no surprise that I've joined the 100 Mile Fitness Challenge.

It's pretty simple: log 100 miles between January 1 and March 31.  One mile on the treadmill, sidewalk or elliptical = 1 mile, but 15 minutes of practically any other planned fitness activity (yoga, aerobics, strength training) counts as a mile, as well.  Report logged miles every Friday, and Trish keeps everyone's running total on the sidebar.  Every bit of motivation helps!

Benefits of Short Bursts of Exercise

Good article here on the benefits of 150 minutes of walking each week...which doesn't have to equal long periods of time on a treadmill or hours of walking (which is hard for moms with kids who still need supervision at hom).

The 150 minutes can be broken up into 3-10 minute walks a day.

And, you can boost your metabolism using short bursts of instense exercise too!

Happier, Healthier New Year to us all!

Jessica's Block - A Real Journey

Hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year's!

This block has been a real journey and learning experience for me. I have done a little bit of paper piecing in the past so I thought, I'm fine I don't need to do up a test block. Boy was I wrong; I won't be making that mistake again!

Had I done a test block I would have abandoned this block half way but as I had already used up some of the fabric and I thought it would look awesome on-point, I forged on. Near the end of sewing all the quadrants I ran out of the light fabric so I substituted a bit of mine. Once I had all the quadrants done, after much pulling out and redoing, I thought they looked pretty awesome.

Little did I know the most challenging part was yet to come, joining the quadrants! Should be easy right? What I didn't think about is that there are 16 seams meeting in the center. Try as I might, I could not get the center right, so needless to say, I'm not happy with how this block turned out.

The above block is from 100 Quilt Blocks Magazine. I adjusted it from a 12.5 unfinished block to a 9.5 unfinished block. It is a gorgeous block; I'm sure the problem was me.

Anyways, I decided that I had to do right by Jessica, so off I went to my stash and picked out some fabrics that went with Jessica's coffee, cream and sugar theme and started again. This block turned out much better. On this one I used my own fabrics, all except the center. Hope you like it Jessica.

This block is a mix of Woven Rails, Cactus Star-the center, and Heaven's Ablaze- the corners, from Quilter's Cache. Below it's on point.

I hope one of these blocks works for you Jessica, I'm going to send them both just in case you want to use the first one I did on the back of the quilt or something (no hurt feelings if you don't use it at all). I'm sending some little scraps from the second block I made using my fabrics, just so you can tie them in a bit if you want! These will be going in the mail tomorrow.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year, New Body!

The latest issue of HEALTH magazine mentions this bakery that donates 15% of every purchase you make on their site to the cause of your choice. I couldn't decide if it was a good thing or not:)


30 minutes of walking every day is supposed to help prevent heart attacks and other ailments. Do you all exercise every day? I try, I really do. This site is supposed to send a free pedometer (while supplies last) if you register with them: