Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Voting is Open...

Um.. I don't usually beg, but I will.
I've only gotten one vote.  And it was from my fiance.
So, I knew I wasn't going to get the popular vote, but one is kind of hurty.
So, if you are so inclined, please vote for my Ace of Spades.  It's #9.
Or just, you know, vote.
There are some cool quilts there.
I will wallow in the love of my students, if I need to.

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Ace of Spades

A while back, Jenna from Sew. Happy. Geek. posted up a mini quilt challenge.
It's called Play.

The idea was to pick a playing card and translate it (however you saw fit) into a mini quilt.
I toyed with the idea of picking a card at random.
(I still have a plan for the Queen of Hearts.)
I asked the Pirate, who likes metal.
He immediately said "The Ace of Spades" because of the Motorhead song.
While a mini of Lemmy might be awesome, it was beyond my skills.
A spade seemed fitting, though, as I was teaching traditional card games to a group of kids at the time.  My partner taught Hearts, and I taught Spades.
So, Ace of Spades it was!

I researched the card.  Turns out it's the Death Card.  (I've dabbled with tarot, but never made the link back to the original deck of cards.)
Also, a happy accident.  I have a short story I've been writing with/for my students featuring Death.  As a character.  He's a man in black.

Here's my quilt.  I tried reverse applique, which I had never done before.  WOooo.
I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

Play Challenge, Ace of Spades
Play Challenge, Ace of Spades
Play Challenge, Ace of Spades

Here's my story.  I haven't finished it because I still have to grade a stack of my students' short stories.  They've asked me to post the final version, so it will get done this month, probably after all my grades are in.
Here's the story so far.  It doesn't have a title, but I'm open to suggestions.

The wind howled as the cloaked figure strode through the trees. He moved like a shadow, graceful, almost dancing in the half light.
Though the wind tugged at his hood, his face bore no signs of the cold or discomfort. He creeped. First in light, then in darkness. Neither seemed wholly pleased with his presence. A gesture of his hand and the wind ceased suddenly. And in the stillness, with the darkness creeping over the land, he came.

The doorbell rang, followed immediately by a knock at the door.  The bell, slightly out of tune echoed through the house.  The little girl, clad in a red skirt, a flowered shirt, and two pigtails answered the door.

“Dad!  There’s someone at the door!”

“I’ll be there in a second, honey.  Who is it?”

“I’m not sure.”

“Well, ask!”

The girl turned to the figure and asked, “Who are you?”

The cloaked figure, in a voice almost too low to hear, murmured, “That is complicated.  I’m here for William McCaffrey, your father.”

“He says he’s here for you!  His name is Compi Cated.”


“Compi Cated.  That’s his name!”

“Actually, that’s not what I said,” interrupted the figure in black.

“But that’s what you said.”

“That’s not what I meant.”

“But it’s what you said.”

The man in black cleared his throat and tried to regain his composure. “I really need to see your father.”

The girl turned, angling herself toward the stairs, “DADDDDDDDDDDDD!”

“I’m coming!!!”

Her father came down the stairs, adjusting his T-shirt as he came.

“I’m sorry to keep you waiting.  I just got back from the gym.  Who are you?  Are you selling something?”

“In a manner of speaking.  My name is not important.”

“I’m sorry.  I’m not really interested in joining another religion.”

“What?  Um, that’s not what I’m here for.”

“What are you here for then?”


“Huh?  Me?”


As her father appeared puzzled, the little girl tugged at her pigtail, twirling the straggling ends around her finger.

“What would you want me for?  Are you some kind of recruiter?  Is this a sweepstakes?  Because I’m really not interested.”

“I, you see, I….I am Death.  I’m here for you.”

Her father blanched.  “Is this some kind of a sick joke? It’s not really funny.”

“It’s not.”

“But Death isn’t real.  It’s not a person, certainly.”

“Why do you assume that?”

“I don’t know.  It just seems like something from a fairy tale.  I mean, really.  Death is an event….not a person.”

“I’m not really a person.”

The little girl tugged hard on her left pigtail.  “But you look like a person.”

“I’m not.”

“But you look like one.”

“I’m not.”


The man in black sighed.  “I’m not.  It’s just true.”

“Well, even if you are, why are you here for my dad?”

“He’s on my list.”

“Uh huh.  Right.  Let me see.”

“It’s not an actual list.  It’s a list that appears for me to see.  It’s not something I can hand to you.”

Miranda turned to her dad, who sputtered,  “Sir, you’ve given us no evidence that you are who you say you are or that you are here for why you say you’re here.  So, I’d kindly ask you to leave my house.  Right now.”  He pushed forward to usher the man in black from his home.

“I wouldn’t touch me, if I were you.  Not even if you think I’m not who I say I am.  The kiss of death is a thing of myth.  Just my touch would be enough to sever your soul from your body, if my intention is that it do so.”


“Daddy, don’t touch him.”

“Well, then I’ll ask you again to leave, sir.”

“I could say that you have no choice in the matter.  But, I’m slightly ahead of my schedule.   I’ll be back in a few hours to claim your soul…and I’ll give you time to make arrangements for her,”  the man in black nodded toward the little girl.  “I know her mother has already been claimed.”


“You heard me.”

“I did.  I just don’t believe you.”

“Believe or not.  I will return.”

The man in black swept his cloak around him.  The wind, as if on cue, swirled leaves in his wake.  He stepped sideways and vanished into the shadows.

“Kind of a melodramatic exit,”  Miranda muttered.

“Shhh.  He’ll hear you.”

“What does that matter?” she asked.

“He doesn’t know who you are…or he’d never have acted as if you were an ordinary child.”

“I see.  We are planning something, daddy?”

“Yes, yes, my dear, we are.”  His voice dropped to a murmur.  The two figures sat at the kitchen table, filling out their plan.  At the end of the hour, Miranda nodded, pigtails bobbing.  Both figures separated and went in search of supplies.

Death, meanwhile, bided his time.

The next night, the man in the black cloak returned.  At the doorway, he hesitated.  This didn’t feel right.  He sighed.  He had a job to do.  Shaking his head to clear it, he raised his hand to knock on the door.  Before his knuckles could rap it, the door opened, two beady eyes and pigtails greeted him.

“Hi.  We’re been waiting for you.”  She pivoted.  “DADDDDDDDDDYYYYYY, he’s back!!!!!”

She turned, pigtails flipping behind her.  He sighed again, stepped over the threshold, muttering to himself that this job was thankless and never ending.  Perhaps he should retire sooner rather than later.  Ah, who was he kidding?  Death was his business; it was all he knew.  Who knew if the unknown would make him happier or less?  Nevertheless, the nagging feeling that tugged at him, that told him something was off, returned.

The girl had stroke without hesitating into the kitchen, and she was presently perched on a kitchen stool, peering at him again.  Her father, clad in an apron that said “Kiss the Cook” put the finishing touches on a plate of food.

“We were just eating dinner.  A last meal, so to speak.”  The father laughed nervously.

“Ah, yes.”  Like he’d never heard that before.  

“Are you hungry?” The girl perked up.  “I know I am.”  Before he could blink, she’d snatched up one of the plates and grabbed a fork.

“Yes.  I may be marked for death, but I haven’t lost my manners.  Can I offer you a plate?  We’ve got dessert as well.”

Ah, the smell.  It smelled divine.  If the man in black was capable of salivating, he should be.  Miranda cocked her head, watching the man’s body language.  Ah.  He shifted, angling himself slightly toward the plate.  His nostrils twitched.  Yes, he was hungry…or at least interested in the dinner.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sorry I've been AWOL.

I haven't be around.
I haven't been sewing.
I had a bit of a meltdown yesterday.
I'm overtired...dealing with stressed, overtired, overexcited kiddos all day.
We're nearing the home stretch of the school year end.
I'm trying to finish grades, grading short stories, end of the year stuff...graduation parties, good byes to families moving, learning 2 dance choreographies (truth be told, learning one...I haven't done anything with the solo).
I've not been doing well trying to hold it all together.  Not enough sleep.  Not enough time for me.  Not enough everything.
So, I haven't been around.  I haven't been sewing.  I haven't been smooshing the dog enough or The Pirate.
Heck, I haven't cleaned the house in far far too long.
Ugh.  Gotta do that this weekend, too.
I missed the SMS giveaway I meant to post.  
I'm behind on some UFOs.
I may be sending a bee block out late.  (I hate being late.   Those of you in my hives know I try to get it all done early.)
I need to learn to manage stress better.  Take better care of myself.  Sleep.
Sleep is good.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival and a Pay It Forward!

It's that time of year again. Amy over at Amy's Creative Side is hosting the Blogger's Quilt Festival!
Amy's Creative Side
I debated for a long time which quilt to post. I've got several favorites by now. I'm going to go with one of my more recent finishes. If you follow me, you've seen this one already, with and without Kraken.

 It's been a twofer. Part of the My Precious QAL and the Cosmic Burst QAL. The design is from Julie over at Distant Pickles. I'm definitely going to try my hand at this one again, next time in a bigger version. I cut into some of my hoard of Tula Pink's Parisville. It's one of my favorites. I love how this quilt turned out. I learned how to go beyond my usual straight lines, no zig zagging. I traced the path of the star. It was a bit of a learning curve. (Next time I'll definitely sketch my path before I sit down in front of my machine.)

 I love love love this quilt.

  Cosmic Burst/Precious

 I'm behind on a few projects. This weekend has been action packed (graduation, an art auction, dance rehearsals). I'm still plugging away at evaluations and trying to wrap up a swap item and the end of the school year (and a dance show). Frankly, I'm a bit tired and nursing a bit of a cold. So, I apologize for not finishing things to share here. I'll try to remedy that in the next week or so. I've got like 3 things in progress from the UFO list, as well as a bevy of blocks. I've also joined a Pay it Forward via kelsey at kelseysews.

The rules are pretty straight forward.

 1. I will make a crafty gift for each of the first three people to comment on this post. This little gift is a surprise, and will arrive to you anytime within the next 365 days.

 2. To sign up to pay it forward, you need to commit to pay it forward too! Post this, or something similar on your blog so others can get involved. Be sure to keep the cycle going!

 3. I will email you asking for your mailing address so I can get your little treat in the mail. {Please make sure that your email address is visible on your profile or leave it in the comment.}

 I tried this once before...and didn't have 3 takers/had a taker who never replied to send me a mailing address. I ended up picking 3 random folk to do nice things for, without holding them to the pay it forward cycle. Let me know if you're game! International folk totally welcome!

 Going to also try to get something up for the be Giveaway bloghop tomorrow...but we'll see... Hope you all are having a wondrous weekend.

 Oh! I finished my quilt for Jenna's "Play" mini quilt competition. Here it is:

  Play Challenge, Ace of Spades

 It will get its own post later, as there is a short story that goes with the quilt. (As in a fiction story, not a how I made it story.)'t finished writing it.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Pics plugging away.

I have a design in my head for Jenna's "Play" miniquilt group. If you haven't joined yet, it's not too late. There's a flickr group. Today I've been playing catch up and laughing (I had to teach several sex ed classes today...oh the questions!).

I basted and started quilting my first Lawn Chair quilt. (It was on my finish along list..2 versions, in fact). I got about half way done and found a big ripple. So I commenced to repinning, but I gave up on quilting last night. Today, I got the top and the back of the second one pieced. The plan for tomorrow is to finish quilting version one and pin baste version 2. Right now I'm going to work on the boxy bag for Trollop (also on my finish along list).

 That will leave:
the Red, Black and Grey be handquilted...still. I pooped out after one block
the postage stamp quilt...I have an idea of how this should look but haven't worked on it at all
the Stained idea how to quilt this still.
Farmer's blocks into a table runner

 Phew...still have a long way to go.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A finish!

My Cosmic Burst/Precious quilt is done! I love love love it. I kind of wish I had made a bigger version. Definitely going to make this one again. Cosmic Burst/Precious

with kraken:

Cosmic Burst/PreciousCosmic Burst/Precious back

Two amazing wins came this week. One from Laurie Wisbrun of her new line, in the raspberry/lime colorway. Sooooo gonna get yardage of this when it's around.


AND I won a bundle from the Fat Quarter Shop:
FQS win

I'm super super excited for summer. I have lots of ideas/designs in mind. I want to learn how to use TouchDraw. I signed up for Rachel (over at Stitched in Color)'s summer camp in Handstitching. I think there are still spaces if you want to sign up! Have a wonderful Mother's Day! I'll be dancing and sewing and chatting up my mom!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Giveaway winner!

I ran the comments through Mr. Random. #2 won. e Random Number Generator Min: Max: Result: 2 Powered by RANDOM.ORG Anyone out there who can tell me an easy way to cut and paste the little image? Also, I'm now might not be a good time to explain it. Hadley, I'll email you to find out your fabric preference! Ooooo...I finished my Precious/Cosmic Burst. It's still in the dryer. Pics tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Giveaway and post 200!!!!!

I'm fashionably *cough* late on my 100 follower giveaway, but here it is. Ironically on post 200!

 So, two big milestones. My original plan was to giveaway a fat quarters, but I'm going to do a giveaway with a slight twist. Some audience participation, as it were. I picked out 2 fat quarters from my LQS during a shop hop to give away to followers. I'm still giving those away.

These are the FQs in question:
Malka giveaway

 Here's where the twist comes in. I will also give you 1 yd in addition to these FQs, in the form of either a straight yard or 2 half yards, of a line of your choosing, as long as it's available at my LQS...luckily, my LQS is pretty awesome. So, you can request more of Malka or give me a line or a designer you love (just not Melody Miller or Kokka...because as much as I love y'all, I can't manage $25 a yard with postage...) ESPECIALLY since I'm making this open to International Folks and the postage on top of Kokka would kill me.

 So....this is for followers only. Give me a favorite designer or line (not out of print) that you are loving. I'll try to make it happen if you win!

 Comments will be open until Friday, around 9pm EST. I'll mail the package out this weekend if you're domestic, by Monday if you aren't. WOoooo!!!!!! Thank you, dear followers, who make blogging fun and some of whom I look forward to meeting at Sewing Summit!

 And, for other picture-y goodness, more bee blocks: 3x6, Hive #9, for QueenSonia2001 3x6m Hive #7, for franswimmer 3x6, Hive #7, for lookswhatladyfacemade 3x6, Hive #7, for kimizaki 3x6, Hive #7, for mommaof4yoopers 3x6, Hive #7, for ChandraWu 3x6, Hive #7, for coop233

Monday, May 7, 2012


I was supposed to post a giveaway. I'll post it tomorrow. Tonight I ended up going down for the count. And then the dog peed on my favorite wool carpet. (Yes, it's a handwoven folk Polish folk runner.) So I had to wash that in the bathtub. And I didn't get any pics of the giveaway items. Or any sewing done today. Eep. My apologies.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


I have a tutorial mostly done, except for pasting in photos and scanning my templates. So so proud! If you haven't already signed up for the The Intrepid Thread's newsletter, please do. (Hint, that's where it will appear.) I also sewed bee blocks...and I fluffed one. I'm going to wait for some extra fabric to come my way to redo it. (Note to self, don't cut when you are feeling math challenged.) I *finally* got something done in time to link up to the Zakka Sew Along! Zakka Sew along Bee Blocks: 3x6, Hive #9 3x6, Hive #9 3x6, Hive #9 3x6, Hive #9 IMG_03x6, Hive #9 Nubee, May IMG_0893

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Stash winner!!!...and some sewing.

Not a ton done today.  I had dance, but I'm having trouble coming up with the choreography on this one.  I think part of it is the setting.  I'm going to be dancing in an amphitheatre set up (in a house, but that's the closest equivalent) so the audience will be above me...and it will mean going up and down stairs if I want to interact.  Must be the show woman in me, but I find it far easy when you can work the audience.  Can't do that easily while one is being stared at from above.  Hrm.

I've been working on my Modern She Made swap item.  It's not due for a bit, but I tend to get things done early...cutting things close stresses me out.  This will be a sewing machine cover, I think.

Block for Swap Item
I didn't get a screen shot, but the random generator picked comment #1 from Cherise!
I'll be emailing you to get your info to send out the box ASAP.

I tried to train the animals to pick for me...they appear to be loving each other more this week.  Today we all napped for 20 min in a lump.  Cat snuggled dog, draping a front arm jauntily over dog, who responded by snuggling and making happy dog grunty noises.  So So Cute.
Proof they love each other:
Animal Luv

Reminder...traveling stash!

A quick reminder to go here:
if you want to enter the giveaway for the traveling stash.  (Post there, not here.)
I think I'm closing it off today.
Let's say 7pm EST.
It's US only, sorry international peeps who are so lovely to follow me.
I've got a giveaway for my 100 followers that is way over due.  I'm adding to that one as I go to try to make up for its extreme tardiness.  That one will be open to all....

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Fresh Sewing Day (April Roundup)

April 2012

Got more than I thought I did done in April!
 Linking up to Lily's Quilts!

 Also got some Nubee blocks for May done today:
Nubee, May, Hive #4, for HevWam Nubee, May, Hive #4, for allipage Nubee, May, Hive #4, for stampqnjl

 and a block headed to Michele: star for Michele

 Happy Tuesday, folks!
Any advice anyone can offer on how to get Blogger to quit messing up my formatting would be appreciated...I hate having to redo posts over and over again to deal with them resetting my spacing and pictures.  Ugh.  This is partly why my old blog was abandoned.