Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands.
Psalm 90:17

Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy Whatever-You-Celebrate!

The marathon is over. Since spring I have costumed 7 shows (Scapin, Avenue Q, Midsummer, Rent, 9-5, Proof,  Parade) and performed in one of them. I finished the top for "Scrap Vomit" and managed to complete some small stuff. Every time a show opened and I thought life would slow for a bit and I could have some good 'me' time, it didn't happen. I may have broken a toe a few weeks ago and it still doesn't feel right. Had my heart ripped out over some terrible events that happened at church. But joy oversees all~~

Pippin Storm is here and he's beautiful.

I still remember writing about Kal-El's birth. Now he's a big brother twice. These little people make everything awful go away. Happiest of Thanksgivings~ God is so good.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The September post~

No pictures yet from Shakespeare, Rent or 9-5 but... my sister was quick to send one of the her in the dress I made for her first appearance with a group of madrigal singers. She sent a picture of the style she liked and picked out her fabrics. I looked her picture and made this. I never did get her measurements. Oh, yeah, she's in Massachusetts; I'm in Virginny. Next time I'll hem it a little deeper and shorten the sleeves?

We'll just forget about September~

It seems one post a month isn't just for the summer~ it seems it's going to be the fall norm too. Except we'll just forget about September. It was an incredibly busy month which saw 2 significant things in my little world. One was the return to the front side of the curtain as I  played "Margaret" in "9-5" for 13 performances (four weekends!); the other being I turned 52 on opening day. It was truly the best birthday I've had in a long time, since I don't care about my birthday and try to downplay it anyway. But it was special. The kids gave me a wonderful little camera to replace the one that Leia dunked in my iced tea and I was happy that now I could get good pictures to share on my lil' blog here. The camera took about five pictures before it died. It won't take a charge. I'm at a loss and the folks at a large blue and yellow national chain of electronics stores that told me to bring it to them were of no help. Back it goes to the holders of the receipt. *sigh*

But in the happy place department~~ we had a great birthday for Leia Elise at the beginning of October! Wow--- I remember writing about Kal's impending arrival on this blog and now his sister is two years old! (And the next one arrives NEXT WEEK!!!) Leia asked for a 'princess castle cake' and although it's been a long time since I did fancy cakes I did what I could. I think she liked it!

Actually, I did write a September post---it was in drafts waiting for a picture. So I'll post it now after I steal a pic from Facebook. Thanks, JAG!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Continuing the 'one post a month' summer~

 August is almost over so I'll sneak in one post to finish out this nutty summer. No pictures yet from "Midsummer" but I did snag one group shot from "Rent":

                                       I 'stole' this finale shot from Becca S.~~ thanks friend!
That's the whole cast; each had a few changes and you can tell it was mostly found, borrowed and thrifted type costumes. The only sewing for Rent was Angel's Santa coat and I'm still trying to steal a photo of that.

 Did the one camp week but it wasn't the usual I've done for the past few years. This year I worked the session that focuses on using music and drama to worship. It was a new experience and, well, that's all I'm going to say about that.

Working on "9-5" has been a blast. It opens in just under two weeks and costume deadline is approaching quickly. Hope to be done by Thursday. We shall see.

Because I didn't have enough going on, I signed up for a 'quick' applique coaster swap through the Quilting Gallery. My little bugs are heading out to Tazmania today! And, no, no picture. During the last visit, Leia though it would be fun to dip Nannie's camera in some iced tea. So, a camera is on the birthday request list. I did take a picture with my phone but it will require my son or a miracle to figure out how to get the picture from the phone to the computer. Neither the phone or myself are "smart".

Speaking of Leia, have I shown off the kidlets this summer?
                                                     Kal-El wouldn't look at the camera.
This is at Roanoke Sound-- my new favorite place to chill. I'm not a beach person, but I love going here. When I win the lottery-- which is difficult because I don't play much -- I'm going to buy a house on the Outer Banks. And when a hurricane takes it I'll just have to buy another one.

 I did want to share this one. One week, both Philip and Jacie were away at camp so Kal-El came for his first 'days away' visit with us. It was such a wonderful time. Just us without the usual havoc of the quick visits. It was the longest Kal has been away from his sister and when they reunited at a church service they couldn't stop hugging each other. Ashley tells me that when they got home Leia took Kal by the hand and led him around the house, showing him everything she had played with while he was gone!

Number Three (nicknamed "Stormy" since they don't want to know who it is until he/she arrives) is about 9 weeks out. The 'what kind of quilt do you make when you don't know who it is?" question was answered when Ashley asked for a Sesame Street theme. I can do that. Eventually.

Next update will probably be after 9-5 opens. Life should slow down a little then. Right?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

One post a month?

It must be summer!

Okay, quick recap since June~  "Midsummer" was a terrific success. Couldn't be prouder of Jacie in her first 'big' Shakespeare role! The costumes were as close to my vision as I ever could get and stay in budget. Very happy! Waiting for pictures to share.

"Rent" was much more frustrating to costume than it should have been. The theater suffers from a serious lack of communication between responsible parties; leaving me locked out of the costume storage to see what was already available and without funds to purchase what was needed. Despite knowing I was doing the show for a year and having my color scheme/look planned months ahead, most of the costumes were done in the two weeks before opening. That should NEVER happen. And guess what? I'm waiting for promised pictures.

The fall opener, "9-5",  has been cast and work has begun. The most delightful news from this show-- I have been cast in it! After a five year dry spell I'm finally getting to be on both sides of the curtain again!. What it means in the long run is even less time for quilting but I'm okay with that. it's not procrastination if there's other priorities, right?

I squeezed in some sew-for-me time yesterday and finished all the blocks I need for the Scrap Vomit quilt and started putting the rows together. I hope to finish the top this weekend.

In the meantime; I plan to enter this quilt I made for a friend in Quilting Gallery's Quilts for Little Ones contest. I'll probably post about that after it's official~ :)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Crummy week.

  Yeah. Just a couple of horrible costuming days. I'm working two shows- "Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Rent". Just frustrating when some things don't need to be. But I'll look to the happy~ celebrating my Dad, an amazing and loving man who taught me what a real dad is and what to look for in a father for my children; and my husband of 28 years. Wonderful fathers, wonderful men. I am blessed.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

At least one post in May~

  Just one, probably, because I'm busy as the bees and blogging while busy is not a priority. There's been mostly theatre work but I squeaked in a bit of piecework. I had the pleasure of testing another pattern for Cindy of Quilt Doodle Doodles. On the first warm afternoon here in SE Virginny I found myself childless for the day. Some may consider that a great time to do housework but that's silly.  I cleaned up pollen from the front porch and made myself cozy with a pitcher of iced tea and news radio and stitched away on the embroidery. The piecing had to wait because of Mom's illness (more on that later) but I finished up these two sweet blocks this week.

Cindy's patterns are available on  Patternspot  - they are adorable and so easy to put together. And no--- I am NOT a paid spokesman! lol! I just really get a giggle from her cute characters!

 Since my last post in March (!) I have:
~Opened and closed 'Scapin". It was a good show, no drama, pretty easy costuming. The director and I disagreed on a couple of pieces but we compromised. No pictures yet. I rarely get any from the college shows.

~Avenue Q opens tomorrow. Very easy to costume; just time consuming in the running around and gathering. Very little sewing. I was behind, though, because of:

~Planned a 4-day trip with all 4 of my children together for the first time in years to see my parents in Boston but, right before we left, my mom was hospitalized. I went up by myself instead and stayed for about a week and a half to help care for her. I traveled the day after the Marathon bombing so it was a crazy week of watching endless news coverage with a smattering of Red Sox games on Mom's hospital room TV. Fortunately, she is much better and comfortable at home.

~Began work on summer Shakespeare~ I can't believe it's Grove time again. It's my sixth and second go-'round with "Midsummer Night's Dream".  A new director who's looking for traditional Greek with Lord of the Rings-meets-Hellboy for the fairies. Jacie has been cast as the 'changeling boy'. This one will be cool.

~Beginning work on LTVB's summer musical, "Rent". A little more sewing than "...Q" but again it's mostly thrift store shopping and gathering.

 ~Planning a drama for a new week of camp. This is different from the week I usually do. This one is called Expressions of Worship and it teaches kids to use performing arts to glorify God. It's a new camp experience for me and I'm excited, but a bit apprehensive, about it.  I have not been contacted about the "usual" week I work so I am assuming that the person taking over that week doesn't need me. One less week to plan, I guess.

  I have signed on for four shows this next season. September brings "9-5", November has both "Parade" and "Proof" (and I'll be the assitant director for that) and "Next to Normal" in the spring. Plus whatever the college has in store... another happy, busy season!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Not dead; just not quilting

I'm not posting; it must be showtime! In fact, I'm booked up for the spring/summer season.

Scapin (opens 21 March)
Avenue Q (opens May 17)
Shakespeare in the Grove ( June 19?)
Rent (opens July 12)

Usually there's a week of camp (Solid Foundations) in there but I'm not sure about that this year. The dean of that week is gone and there has been talk of replacing it with something new. I've been asked to do an additional week called Expressions of Worship but the details are still hazy. I know I'd be teaching theater. So, in a nutshell, I'm crazy busy!

The downside is, of course, I want to sew my quilts and some spring clothes. I have all these wonderful "Taking Names" triangles calling my name. Scrap Vomit is SO close to being fully pieced.
There's a sweet new baby arriving soon and I still need to finish a quilt for Colton, who arrived last year. I want to suprise B with last year's "Bottled Rainbows" (currently sandwiched) quilted by me for his birthday at the end of the month. *sigh*

Daylight savings does nothing when it comes to needing more hours in a day.

Friday, March 1, 2013

The End.

...of DaGMT 2013, anyway.

The results:

~One UFO finished and delivered
~A basket full of packs for a scrap vomit quilt emptied for 15 total blocks complete
~a doll quilt made and mailed
~a few random blocks for swaps
~lots of fun, triangular shaped blocks called "Taking Names
~one "Star Wars" pillowcase son #2 has been begging for for three months since we bought the fabric
~One housework-free day spent at a quilt show
Oh, how much more could I have done if I wasn't spending hours in thrift stores working on costuming for "Scapin" or deathly afraid of free motion quilting!

Oh well... (in her best Scarlett O'Hara, which isn't very good) Today is another month to quilt in!

Happy March!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Continuing on...

The Month of DaGMT continues~

I learned today that a kind, wonderful man I have worked with in community theater lost his wife this week to ovarian cancer. They have two small children (4 & 1) and this news is just so devastating. If you're the praying sort, please lift this family up.

   I have sewn every day except Sundays and last Saturday when I spent the day at the annual Mid-Atlantic Quilt Show. I enjoy that day so much- my dear friend Diane and I have made it our tradition to go together and I love her company so much. I bought a few treats this year (we were unemployed last year so I didn't buy much) : a wool candle mat kit, some pre-cut squares, a few fat quarters, a redwork pattern and the one thing I really wanted but didn't know it--- a ruler that makes joining the ends of binding a snap to put together. I'm not sure what's wrong with my brain but when I sew on a binding I struggle to get that nice bias seam on the last connection. I watched a demo of this tool and knew I had to have it!

  Progress has been made on the Scrap Vomit blocks (no pictures) and the blocks for the 'Taking Names' test/swap. I also made the doll quilt for this months Doll Quilter's Monthly exchange. Incedently, it will be my last as I have withdrawn from the group.

                                                                      swap blocks

doll quilt

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A UFO done~

DaGMT Progress
                                            Tuesday, Wednesday/ Feb. 12 & 13

                             Presenting "Bear Tracks", my first machine-quilted, flannel top,
                            pattern test subject quilt (for Cindy at Quilt Doodle Doodles ).
                             Begun in the spring of 2012, finished in February 2013, and
                            given to Number 1 Chef-Son in honor of his moving out to his first home.
                                                                  ( 'sniff/tear/sniff' )

(Machine quilting by Mary at Quilt Hollow )

Monday, February 11, 2013

DaGMT Progress
                                                                 Monday, Day 11

 On my list of UFO's that will get done~ "Bear Tracks". The binding is machine stitched on. The hand stitching begins tonight!

                 I think I'll make a stop at a RedBox and find a good movie to watch while stitching.
                                                                     Any suggestions?

Five, Six ~ Pick Up Sticks... and Picks... and Socks

DaGMT Progress
                                                                   Tuesday, Day 5
 In a previous post I briefly mentioned that Jacie is working on re-arranging and painting her bedroom. As we make our way around the room, which I thought I had thoroughly swept and de-cluttered before moving anything, I have been amazed at how many drumsticks, guitar picks and socks have appeared. I'm constantly finding picks in the dryer, too, so it just makes me wonder: just what have these kids been using on their instruments--and feet!-- all this time? Maybe they are like hangers, where you get a couple in a dark, dusty corner and voooom! Inanimate object reproduction! But I did sneak in work on my quilt group/test blocks. I wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing before I started on anyone else's.
 Oh, please meet Wallie, my new design wall. It took a little re-arranging of the space but he's made and hanging. He is one third of DH's Christmas present to me. The second third is a new cutting surface that is still in progress. The last third is his letting me do this to our bedroom. I made Wallie from a pre-stretched canvas from A.C. Moore (on sale + 10.00 coupon= about 13.00 bucks) and about 2 yards of flannel, on sale at JoAnn's for 2.50 py. I had the hooks lying around. Times like these are why it's good to be a pack rat.

W/T/F,  Day 6, 7 and 8
More vomituous progress on the scrap vomit as I assembled a bunch of block centers and made more strips. I had been doing this block by block but I am anxious to get this monster together so I'm trying to speed it up using an assembly line system. Sewed a bunch one day,  pressed 'em the next, sewed some more. (Did you ever notice that, after Tuesday, even the calendar says "WTF"?)
Saturday,  Day 9
 Cutting day~~ cut lots of triangles and strips for the group project. It's a thrift store work day as I start in earnest to costume the spring show. And I made manicotti. I. Cooked. Something.

                                                                    Sunday, Day 10
 Sewing day off.  The kids had 'hang out with friends time' after church, and DH didn't have any collateral duties, so he and I had a nice lunch at a favorite bagel shop and hit some more thrift stores until it was time to pick up the kids. Lovely day with my church family and my love!


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Three, four, shut the door! It's freezing in here!

DaGMT progress Day 3
  None, unless you count digging out a few FQs for a potential need. But it wasn't for lack of trying; it was for lack of electricity. See, I have an old house. Creaky old. It's almost one hundred and some parts really show it, particularly the electricity. Some of the house, like the upstairs overhead lights and a few outlets, are very old wiring and connected to each other. Some of the house is newer because the VA wouldn't approve the loan to buy this "starter house" some 27 years ago until the electricity was upgraded some. So, to sum it up, this place is wired weirdly. Now understand that the furnace was also replaced in that first year and, just before Christmas, it died. Replacing the system isn't an option right now, so we're getting by these chilly (aka "freezing") days with strategically placed space heaters. It's a little challenging because simply turning on a light can cause a breaker to flip and shut off odd parts of the house at a time, both upstairs and down. But it's okay because I have two teenagers at home and it's very easy to send one of them into the cold to flip the breaker back on and life goes on. :) One outlet in the hall popped several days ago, taking out a couple of lights we can live without.  But Saturday night was different-- Jacie has been painting her bedroom and in the moving of furniture something got hit that blew one of the outlets in her room. Along with that outlet, out went all the overheads upstairs and outlets in each bedroom and the only bathroom in the house. The only thing that worked upstairs was the outlet in her room we had added last summer for her air conditioner-now-heater. Suffice it to say, Saturday night was cold upstairs! Sunday afternoon
-- usually called "sewing time"-- gave way to a trip to the hardware store for new plugs and some contorting on the floor as I replaced the broken one in J's room and the one in the hall that turned out to be not broken after all. So we got back most of the power upstairs but by then it was time to make dinner and fall asleep in my favorite chair. I woke in time to see the second half of the Superbowl through sleepy eyes. When the power went out in the stadium I told my husband they could call an electrician. I was NOT going to New Orleans to replace their broken outlet. And I went back to sleep with my wonderful heater humming warmly.

Day 4

 Spent a good 2 hours working on a quilt pattern testing project--- no pictures! But it's a fun project and I'm looking forward to sharing it later on!  No UFO progress but sewing nonetheless!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

...and they're off!

  Yesterday was February first, the official start day of Drop and Give Me Twenty 2013. I made my 30 minute quota easily since I had to finish a few blocks for an online block swap. The pattern required was "Card Tricks" and they might be the most challenging block I've ever done. It's not particularly hard to put together-- it's all straight sewing-- but I had a dickens of a time with 'flipping' triangles. At least once each block I sewed one of those suckers to the wrong side even though I had them all laid out in their proper place! You'd think after the first couple I'd have an assembly line-style, foolproof method to keep 'em straight but I still managed to do some ripping each block. Ah, well, we'll just call them "patience practice".  I had to make 4 blocks, each with it's own colorway for each of two partners, so 8 blocks total.  Here's one of the two identical groups:
February 2, 2013
Although this one isn't due until the middle of the month, I wanted to clear my swappin' schedule so I can focus on UFOs and a pattern test I'm helping with. I made my first "Crazy Patch" from a large stash of satins, silks and velvets I've been hoarding for just this kind of quilt. This one goes to a swap partner. I made one for myself to keep, but a little smaller.

How are doing with your goals?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Time to officially sign on~

    Today I am preparing for DaGMT 2013 by posting my official, almost completely stolen from the creator, pledge:

  I, mitmeg, quilter who is drowning in UFOs, am joining Quilting Hottie Haven's second annual DaGMT event, and pledge to quilt for (35 minutes or until my fingers bleed) every day of the month of February, 2013. In doing so I hope to get crap done (and I think Beth Helfter is brilliant for coming up with this concept and inspiring me to join). I promise that, although I am working on a show, I will only count those projects that are true UFO's and not stuff I have to do anyway.

Quite a difference from last years pledge:

One thing that WILL be done~ this puppy is getting it's binding:
And more of these will be made:

Friday, January 11, 2013

Vomituous Progress

  Isn't "vomituous" the coolest, most awkward word? I fell in love with it when I read it in William Goldman's "The Princess Bride" back in high school. When they made the 'Princess Bride' movie I hoped and prayed they would keep that wonderful speech of Wesley's where he both insulted and challenged Prince Humperdinck in one sentence before uttering the final "Drop. Your. Sword!"
They did. Wise move, after messing up the Zoo of Death and changing the sharks to shrieking eels, they needed to keep that pivotal scene true to the book. But, really, none of that has anything to do with my use of 'vomituous' today. I just thought I'd share some Scrap Vomit Blocks I started last fall. I wrote about it here: http://theworksofourhands.blogspot.com/2012/09/scrap-vomit.html

  I started swapping packs of 49  2 1/2" squares and I've lost count of how many I've sent and received. I really love seeing the variety that arrives all ready to sew. The Scrap Vomit quilt is made from two basic blocks: one is made from the 49 squares (7X7) and the second has a secondary pattern using solids in the center. So far, I've only made some of the 7X7 blocks. I play a little game for fun. I don't look through the stack when it arrives. When I'm ready to sew, I set the stack next to the machine and just start chain piecing. It's a surprise each time I pick up a square and see what's up next! Occasionally, if adjacent colors are too similar, I pick a square from my own stash to break it up. One thing I do differently, even though it takes more time, is pressing all the seams open. There are so many joints, I think the block just presses smoother and lays nicer with the seams open.  I'm not sure how big this one's going to get before I call it done, but I have already started squirreling away my dollars to send it out for longarm quilting!

                                                                Seven blocks done:
Packs cut by me or received in swap and ready to sew!
New packs cut, packaged and ready to send in the next swap!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New year--and you know what that means~

No, not resolutions. I don't bother with 'em. But you may have read before that most times I finish big projects or start a new year, I have a compulsive urge to re-arrange and clean out the cave*. This time the clean out was quite extensive. I got rid of fabric and ribbon, some that I've had for 20+ years. I remodeled the shelving inside the storage closet. The biggest change is probably that I moved my clothing into the dresser in the closet that was holding notions and patterns. I did this so I could move out the dresser by my bed that serves as a cutting table/clutter catcher and install a design wall/cutting board. It's not totally done so no pictures yet but hopefully I'll finish by next week.
Also updated: here's the new logo for Drop and Give Me Twenty 2013. I am going to get SO much done this year. Wait--- that almost sounds like a resolution. It's not. It's a... uh... ... promise. Yeah, that's it. A promise. To me. Not connected with the new year. Just because.

This year, Beth has many, MANY, great sponsors and prizes--- be sure to check it out and join in!

*For the uninitiated, the cave is my side of the bedroom with has more to do with sewing than anything else. My bed is the worktable; I have a large board I lay on top if the dresser is too small for the job. Often, my foot end is covered with piles of fabric. It's okay with me--- I'm 4'10. I don't need much foot room to sleep!