Envelope Project

Monday, March 31, 2008

MS 150 Bike Ride

The ride is in less than two weeks now. Saturday B and I went for a ride in Brenham and did a few hills. It was a very pleasant ride. Today I took off from work and B and I did another bike ride. This time we were assaulted with wind. Again we did okay. I feel good about this year's ride and barring no bad weather, we should be fine. I will attempt to make spin class on Wednesday and Sunday this week and get in another ride on Saturday. We're in quarter close now so I won't be able to take next Monday off.

I did some quilting yesterday and today. The "art" quilt is turning out well. It doesn't look much like an art quilt right now, but hopefully when I'm finished with it, the piece will come together and people will "get" it! I also made a pot holder this weekend. It was an experimental piece and the next one I will use more batting in it to make it thicker. I tried out the fire retardant batting, but I haven't actually used it to see if it will keep my hands from burning when removing something from the oven. I also machine stitched the binding and it looks AWFUL on the back side. Like I said, it's a practice piece!

I went to B's elementary school open house on Saturday. It was fun seeing his old school and hearing about all of his memories from long ago. Funny thing was that he did not meet up with a single classmate of his, but I ran into a guy that I used to work with in the late 90's. We chatted for quite awhile while B and his brother made their way down memory lane. Quite a small world.

Tomorrow is another day at work. I'm sure it will be filled with excitement and drama! Ha! We are tax people; we don't do excitement!!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008


For anyone in the quilting world who hasn't heard of Sharon Schamber, I am giving her my endorsement. Of course, she doesn't need an endorsement from me, but let me just say that she is one of the most talented people I've met. I recently joined her network and I've been watching her teaching videos. She is the most giving person imparting her knowledge and sharing her skill sets. I get incredibly pumped when I'm watching one of her videos and I'm looking forward to attempting some of her techniques. I feel that with enough practice, I will become a better quilter and a better longarmer. Yay! Now if I could just dump the day job!

In two weeks B and I are off on our 150 mile trek to Austin, TX on our bicycles. We plan on doing a bike ride this weekend in Brenham and hopefully we'll get some practice on the hills. I feel pressure to do well on this ride as we raise money for the National MS Society. I feel an obligation to bicycle the entire route (with a modified starting point). I'm afraid that if I don't succeed then I will have failed in fulfilling my obligation to my sponsors. Of course, that is hogwash as the contributions should not be made because I'm riding a bike, but rather because the person supports my charity.

Tomorrow's another day so I better get a start on the sleep thing!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Monday Musings

Today was a good day. I took the day off from work and totally lazed around and enjoyed myself. Dog and I went for a long jog in the morning and then again this evening. I did a little bit of quilting (not much), but I did load the new quilt onto the longarm machine.

When I first moved to H town, I was unemployed and I thought taking a quilting class was just the right thing to do before I got hired somewhere. This is the first quilt I ever made. (I did not take up quilting again until 2003.) The class was called "Quilt in a Day" by Eleanor Burns and it was done by strip piecing. Since the fabric used was all cotton, the strips were torn and then cut into the proper sizes. I don't think anyone tears the fabric anymore as it creates quite a distortion, but in 1982, we didn't really know???!!! Anyway, the quilt was a "tied" quilt. When I moved to Boston in 1987, the quilt stayed here and was loaned out. It came back to me in 1991 and was not in good shape. Since some of the ties were either ripped out or undone, I untied the entire quilt. I made an attempt at hand quilting, but that was not going to work for me. Too cumbersome and tedious and no instant gratification!!! Today I took out all of the stitching and I am going to wash the quilt top, get better material for the backing (the original used a sheet (gasp!)) and use a cotton batting. It looks like the original quilt used Hobbs batting. I hate it. A lot of people love Hobbs batting, but it's not for me. I will then quilt this puppy on my longarm machine and maybe, just maybe, I'll put it on the bed for use. So far I have not "used" one quilt that I've made. I like them in their "original" condition, but I know that I would love them in their well-worn condition also. I'm slowly learning to toss aside my self-imposed constraints.

B's outside project has turned out very nicely. As soon as the gardens are planted we may host a little party and show off his lovely handiwork. Doggie, of course, is enjoying all things outdoors especially lazing in the sun. Today was a gorgeous day for March and if they could all be like this, I'd be a very happy person! But, alas, it is Houston and the rains must come so for now I will savor the day and enjoy.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Quilt Season

I had this idea months ago to make a quilt to submit to the 2008 Houston International Quilt festival. I have been working on the execution of this quilt since then and it has turned out to be quite a challenge. I could have made it much easier, but then it wouldn't have been as dimensional as it is. The base is constructed and I will load it onto the longarm machine and quilt it. When that is finished I will add the woman and the pillows and various other items to the bed. It's not as good as I had envisioned, but I think that for a first effort at something different and unique, it is totally acceptable.

Work has been unbearably hard the last few weeks. It is not the work that is hard (although sometimes it is!), but rather my attitude has changed toward my job and that makes me somewhat sad. My initial reaction to the mess the new guy has created was to show my indignation by contacting my headhunter and to start looking for a different job. There are jobs out there. I just don't know if I have it in me to start over again. I'm in a quandary. It will all work itself out in time, so for now I've decided to quit stressing and just do my job. New boss be damned!

It's a gorgeous Easter weekend. B finished mortaring the patio and sidewalk this afternoon. I'll take pictures tomorrow when there is better lighting outside. We are going to my cousin's for Easter dinner and to do her tax return. I did mine over a month ago, but finally sent it in last week. Oops. I have taken a day of vacation on Monday and I plan on continuing my quilting adventure. Yay!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sunday, Sunday

So much to do and yet it's hard to get motivated. Work definitely has me in the doldrums. If I were an actor I'd be saying "what's my motivation?".

Yesterday we met the new dog, Barney for the first time. My nephew and his girlfriend recently rescued him and he is adorable. We had lunch yesterday and the guy was a real trooper, no noise, no begging, just sat there looking adorable. He's a lab mix with dalmation-like ears. Too cute.

These pictures depict my weekend projects. Saturday I worked on my quilt I plan on entering and today I've been working on a sweatshirt jacket. Speaking of which, I must get back to it. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

C'est la vie

This past weekend I spent Saturday working on a quilt that I'd like to submit for the Houston International Quilt Festival. It's an original design that is full of promise in being totally unique. The final product will not look anything at all like the preview above. This was originally going to be my prototype as I think I should have used different fabric, but I plan on entering this quilt unless it totally bites when I'm finished. I don't plan on having that happen!

Sunday B and I worked all day putting together photo albums for his brother and sister. We were going to present the albums to them at his sister's birthday dinner that afternoon. It turned out that she had invited a few friends in addition to the family so there was no opportunity to give the albums.

B has been diligently working on his project in between the rain and yesterday's high winds. The patio looks great and perhaps soon we'll invite people over to ooh and aah over it!! I know a lot of people have commented on our front patio. I must admit it is awesome and doggie and I enjoy sitting out there.

I think I'll be looking for a new job soon. The new guy in charge is turning out to be a "yes" man to the boys upstairs and a burden to the department. He's so focused and determined to be promoted to VP that he doesn't see that his "yeses" to every project anyone asks for is impossible for his staff to accomplish in addition to the fact that most of these projects should not be done by the tax department. I'm getting extremely frustrated and I think it's time to move on. So be it. There are other factors, of course, but this is the proverbial "last straw". Well, actually, the proverbial "last straw" is the pathetic pay increase I was given with the statement that I'm already being paid outside of their stated boundaries for my job title. New guy just took their word for it and didn't even blink at not giving me anything. I received a hand written note that said "thanks for all the hard work". Yippee, that'll keep me coming back each day. C'est la vie. Quilting here I come.