Friday, September 29, 2006

Visitor 10,000!

Who are you? I know these few facts from SiteMeter:
      • You are an AOL subscriber
      • You live somewhere in the UTC-5:00 time zone (same as Chicago)
      • You spent 3 minutes on my site and viewed 5 pages (that's very flattering...thanks!)
      • I think it was about 11:30 a.m. my time this morning, which would be 5:30 p.m. your time?
If you recognize yourself here, email me at so I can send you a little prize. (I got this idea from Brenda at Serendipity Patchwork - thanks Brenda!)

Thank you for reading me, everyone! I'll try to keep it interesting so you keep coming back.

Much aloha, Dianna

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Cody Smiles for the Camera

Here's our big boy who just turned 1! He is a great dog, even though he recently chewed down our lemon tree.

He always has a cheerful disposition - never growls or snaps - good traits for a dog.

Happy Birthday, Cody! We love you.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Round Robin Nearly Done.

Wow. It's been almost 3 years since we started this project and our group has grown so close! At next month's guild meeting we're going to unveil our completed RRs (quilted, bound and everything!), then share a bit about our "crazy eights" challenge (remember our fabric buying hiatus?).

I think I'm still going to name this quilt "electric Amish." It's gone through a couple of transformations since I got it back, but I think my group will like it! I'm trying to decide if I need to quilt more between the green vines in the background (maybe echo in black - I don't want too much more going on here).

I also need to finish the quilting in the flower centers, etc. I've got one week left. YIKES! Good thing it's small.

Going to PIQF

Honu is going to PIQF! I'm busy getting his entry ready for Road to California, too. Must send it tomorrow to get there in time for the October 1 deadline.

Here's a new closeup:

Hope he has a good trip!

Accepted - Kona Coffee Quilt Contest!

Kona Winds has been juried into the 2006 Kona Coffee Quilt Contest! I'm sending it off to the Big Island of Hawaii next week. It will be on display during the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, November 3-12. For more information on the quilt show, visit their website: Kona Coffee Quilt Contest. This year I think Bruce and I might get to go. It will be fun for him (coffee) and fun for me (quilts).

Bruce's New Quilt - Finished!

Finally! Quilt related pictures and a blog update. As you can see, I've been busy getting this quilt finished. It was easy in some respects (Log Cabin pattern), but sewing with flannels is an interesting challenge. Flannels aren't the flimsy cheap stuff they used to be. The new Bali flannels are thick and gorgeous, with minimal shrinkage (the ones I used are from Sew Batik and Equilter. They are difficult to cut, however, almost like cutting through Polar Fleece! On the advice of my friend, Shel, I used my walking foot for piecing which helped keep things smooth.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Call Me a Quitter

Yes, I meant quitter even though that is the commonly typo'ed word for quilter.

Today I quit soda, Starbuck's and junk food. I've done this before and, in combination with running, lost 20 lbs. Well, now I have 30lbs to lose, so the job will be a bit harder, but it all starts with just saying NO.

Cody and I took our first 40 minute walk this morning, with a little bit of running on the side. At the end he was panting heavily and I was sweating, so I know we worked it!

I am fiercely determined when I want to be, and I want to be back to my slim, healthy self. So, in the immortal words of Nike, I'm going to:

Just Do It.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Philosophy 101

Bruce and I took Cody up to the "forest" on Sunday for a nice afternoon walk. It was the perfect place to cool off after a hot and humid day.

While we were walking we were talking about this and that and various things we've seen or heard that completely amaze or perplex us. After one particular subject he said, "Sometimes you just have to look at something and say, 'that's really f***ed up!' and go on to the next thing."

It struck me as funny and quite smart, actually. Why dwell on the bad stuff? Just say that and move on to the next.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Some Thoughts about Food

I saw this meme on Joanne's blog. I don't do this very often, but food is very close to my heart, SO:

  • How do you like your eggs? Over easy or poached. The yolks better be runny and the whites better be cooked, or else!
  • How do you take your coffee/tea? Tea: Lipton or Tazo Zen (green), straight, hot in winter and cold in summer. I've only recently started appreciating coffee and prefer the "sissy" drinks from Starbucks, but will have black with cream.
  • Favorite breakfast foods. Everything. I love breakfast. Eggs Benedict (original with ham), hash browns (the shredded kind, but only if cooked just right - crispy on the outside and tender on the inside), oatmeal in winter with or without fruit and nuts, orange juice, and CEREAL - I love cereal. If I'm feeling like a kid, then Lucky Charms, Coco Puffs or Corn Pops (which used to be called Sugar Corn Pops, remember?). If I feel like I need to be good, then Go Lean Crunch, Raisin Bran, etc. Donuts - but we don't have good cake donuts here. I miss Winchell's white cake with white icing or colored sprinkles or chocolate with chocolate icing and coconut. I can thank my Dad for that - he used to bring them home after work when I was little.
  • Peanut butter: smooth or crunchy? Skippy creamy. Best on anything toasted so the peanut butter melts and oozes off. And don't skimp, either!
  • What kind of dressing on your salad? Hidden Valley Ranch or Girard's White Balsamic.
  • Coke or Pepsi? Coke, definitely. And none of that unleaded crap, either! Preferably fountain soda. If it's canned, it has to be cold (in the can), then poured over ice, slowly, to keep the fizz.
  • You're feeling lazy. What do you make? Cereal.
  • You're feeling really lazy. What kind of pizza do you order? We go down to our new place, Serpico's and have a slice and and soda. Otherwise, we usually don't order pizza, we make it - normally Thai chicken pizza with goat cheese.
  • You feel like cooking. What do you make? The fanciest thing that looks or sounds good from Bon Appetit or Gourmet. Or something from Barefoot Contessa or the scads of cookbooks I have.
  • Do any foods bring back good memories? I always think of my great grandmother when I make pie, especially blueberry. Since I love to cook, I have mostly good memories surrounding food.
  • Do any foods bring back bad memories? Hawaiian Punch, strawberry soda, rum, or peach Snapple. I've puked them all and won't touch them.
  • Do any foods remind you of someone? Not particularly.
  • Is there a food you refuse to eat? Besides those in "bad memories" above, Brussells sprouts or lamb. I'll try most anything once.
  • What was your favorite food as a child? Ice cream. Still is one of my favorites.
  • Is there a food that you hated as a child but now love? Broccoli
  • Is there a food that you loved as a child but now hate? Hawaiian Punch
  • Favorite fruit & vegetable: Can't say I have an absolute favorite, because I like most.
  • Favorite junk food: Candy - but not chocolate, and cookies or pastry.
  • Favorite between meal snack: Trail mix bar or something like that.
  • Do you have any weird food habits? I generally won't eat anything past the date.
  • Red wine or white? Good red, great white. Current favorites are La Crema Pinot Noir and Louis Jadot Puilly Fuisse.
  • We only have beer: Any. Corona, Coors, Heineken, Sam Adams Light, Steinlager, Tsing Tao, Kirin. Only very, very cold will do.
  • Favorite dessert? Ice cream or creme brulee.
  • The perfect nightcap? Dessert!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Secret Pal Surprise

Last night was our monthly guild meeting and this is what my secret pal gave me!

It's three little cans stacked together and fits perfectly on the little shelf above my new sewing table.

I've already put my curved pins in one of the cans.
I wonder what will go in next?

Not only did I receive this, but there was a Macy's gift card tucked inside AND she writes fun poetry on her notes each month. It will be fun to find out who she is at our December meeting.

Thanks, Pal!

The Amy Butler Bag

Remember those bags I told you about? This is Amy Butler's "Smart Handbag."

It's much smaller than I thought it would be from the picture on the pattern but, surprisingly, it holds my #2 cell phone, PDA, wallet, keys and a lipstick!

It's lined with a Hoffman batik. I also added a piece of Timtex inside the bottom panel for support, so it stands up nicely all by itself.

I just love this fabric and I have a little more than a half-yard left for something else later on.

Time for Cody

Cody has commanded this chair as his very own. When I saw him sitting here like that, I couldn't resist from snapping his picture. Who does he think he is, anyway?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Very Productive Labor Day

Bruce worked on Monday, so I spent the whole day in my newly furnished studio, where I made:
  • A Turning 20 quilt top using my rather small stash of Kaffe Fasset fabrics
  • 16 blocks of Bruce's new quilt
  • 2 Amy Butler bags and started a third.
It all started with Margaret Hunt's blog. She's been whipping out Turning 20 quilts and using up her stash. It wasn't until she posted a picture of her Kaffe Fasset version that I got inspired. But where to get the pattern? Well, turns out as the Thursday Lunch Bunch (my fabulous "Crazy Eight" friends who meet for lunch every week at the mall's food court, then visit Sew Special) ventured into Sew Special what was in the window? A quilt using the very same pattern but taking advantage of Asian prints. The challenge was on!

I sent out an email to my friends challening them to complete a top before tonight's guild meeting. I was half-heartedly kidding, but the competitive person in me decided to whip one up. I think I made this top in about 4 hours!

Two things to remember when making this quilt: Rule #1: buy half yards instead of fat quarters, that way you'll have some left over for another project (I don't know if I could have sacrificed these gorgeous prints otherwise); Rule #2, READ THE INSTRUCTIONS TWICE BEFORE YOU CUT. The printed cutting guideline on the pattern isn't very clear: their fat quarter looks more like a square than a rectangle. If you cut the wrong side (as I did with a stack of 8 fats!), you've goofed up the whole thing. Another reason to follow my rule #1 above.

Then, I was off and running on the Amy Butler bags while I was washing the batik flannels for Bruce's quilt. I don't have a picture of the bags yet, but I'll post one soon.

Here is the start of Bruce's new quilt:

Pretty strips and 16 log cabin blocks. Only 40 more to go. I debated and debated over which layout to use and Bruce said he preferred random. I like it!

Much Labor on Labor Day

Last week, Bruce helped some friends pack their container for a move to the Big Island and he came home with a very cool present for me:

I had been asking him to build me a new table for my sewing machine because the folding table I was using vibrated every time I sewed fast (which I do most of the time). And, I wanted a table that I could drop my machine into. We did quite a dance getting this monster into the laundry room. If it was one inch bigger, it would have become a potting table in the yard. After a quick trip to Lowe's for a countertop, Bruce got to work:

One day when my mother-in-law was telling a friend about a project Bruce was doing for her, her friend said, "Everyone needs a Bruce." That's a fact! What would I do without him?

Presto! New sewing table! It still needs to be trimmed out and painted, but it is quite functional.

We had a party to go to on Sunday night, so I had to leave it ready and waiting. On Monday, Bruce worked, so I holed myself up in here and got busy. Thanks, Honey! You da best!