Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Alphabet progress, pictures, and an award

I finished the letter J in my Prairie Schooler Alphabet last night.  Here it is.

I'm using Legacy (so I've been told) 30ct Custard Creme over one with DMC.  Here are A and J together.

I'm really surprised at how much I'm enjoying doing the over one.  Maybe the secret is not to use 40ct or 32ct.  lol!  I've had to change some of the colors on both charts, and wish I'd changed the red on the A chart.  For details go to the Prairie Schooler ABC SAL blog. 

In other news, it was Thanksgiving weekend this past weekend.  The boy child had a sweet 16 party to go to.  My friend Ralph managed to get a picture of the boy child all spiffed up -- and smiling!

Now how fair is that that he can get the boy child to smile -- or even to pose for a picture for that matter?  You should have seen me the other day trying to get a picture of the boy child before his Area All County concert.  Forget it!

And of course, we had Thanksgiving dinner.  I won't bore you with lots of pictures.  But I just had to brag about my dear father type.  He always does the holiday cooking around here.  (I do the cooking the rest of the year.)  He's been doing the turkey since before we were married.  I still remember how disastrous his first attempt was way back in the dark ages before marriage.  lol!  But now he's an expert -- makes his own stuffing, candied sweet potatoes, homemade gravy, the works!  Here's the lovely turkey -- not a large one since the kids don't go for turkey that much.

Such a good cook, my father type!

And before I forget, a very old friend from way back when (or at least it feels that way!) gave me this award.

Her blog is Pomegranates and Paper.   I still remember going to her house back when she lived in our neighborhood and just drooling over her Stickley furniture, her real wood venetian blinds, and everything else that was just perfectly decorated to a T.  And of course going to the quilt shop together.  Or how about the time when we made a trip to the emergency room for some kidney stones?   I stayed in the waiting room with the two little ones, one of hers and the only one I had back then, the girl child.  The teen (my friend's blog name for her) outshone the poor girl child in the waiting room for cuteness.  I think it was the girl child's first time being outstaged by a younger woman.  (The girl child was a bit more than a toddler and the teen was a bit less than a toddler I think.)   :D  Anyway, check out her blog -- it's wonderful!   Loretta, I never thought you'd go back to the law stuff.  And what happened to the quilting in our lives?

Anyway, the rules for this award are to list 10 random facts about me followed by nominations of 7 bloggers that I hold dear.  Hmmmm, this is going to be tough!   Ok, here goes!

1.  I love the Beatles.  Many of you probably already know that, but it doesn't say it has to be little known facts, does it?  :D   I actually discovered the Beatles in college (we're talking '79 to '83 here), but I do remember jumping up and down on the couch to "She Loves You" as a wee one.  We sang along too:  "Bunxum yeah yeah yeah!" we screamed.  (That's what we thought they were saying.)   Later as a small child I heard various Beatles songs as the 101 strings version played on my mom's favorite radio station, KMAN in Manhattan, Kansas.  I had no clue that songs like Fool on a Hill were by the Beatles till I was in college.

2.  My hands are way too small.  I mean waaaaaayyyyy toooooo smalllllll!!   Just to give you an idea, I have to wear my kids' winter gloves from when they were little.  I think the ones I'm using are a child size medium from LL Bean.  See what I mean by small?  It's a real disadvantage when you are trying to learn to play the piano (I can only barely reach an octave) or the guitar.  I trashed the piano when I was in 4th grade I think.  The guitar was my idea so that lasted longer, but with small hands I just can't do much.

3.  I wanted to learn to play drums as a kid and so did the boy child.  Pretty funny, huh?  The reason why I didn't learn was that my mother said she wouldn't be able to take all the noise.  The reason the boy child didn't learn?  Well that's a long story.  He was already taking guitar lessons at the time that all the elementary school kids got to choose an instrument to learn at school.  He wanted to do drums.  I said -- do you really want to learn two instruments?  Why don't you put down guitar and see if they'll let you do that with the band?  Well, he went off to school and saw the instrument demos -- and discovered that you could play the Jaws music on the double bass.  You know, that DU DUM  DU DUM DU DUM thing.  How cool is that?!  So the boy child signs up for guitar with double bass as his second choice.  And they assign him double bass.  I say to him, well that means you'll be learning two instruments after all.  Do you want me to contact them and ask to switch you to drums since that was what you really wanted?   And I think you know what the boy child said.  No thanks.  And the rest is history.  :D   (This is getting to be long, isn't it?)   Oh, and he picked up the bass guitar later.  After the double bass.  They're the same thing after all.  Sort of.

4.  I've had two stitching lives.  Well, I've mentioned that before.  Basically, I had a stitching life mixed in with my quilting where I'd basically just do the AC Moore or JoAnne type stuff.  I loved Paula Vaughn, and my first real designer was Prairie Schooler.  But I used aida and DMC and life was limited. I did try one Scarlet Letter kit, which was my first time with linen and silks, but never finished it.   Stopped stitching pretty much, just quilted.  Then my neighbor Kathy (no blog) got me back into stitching and I discovered how changed the world was.  Silk fibers, linen galore -- I went ga gah crazy and that was it.  I haven't touched a quilt since.  Sort of.

5.  Which leads to -- I want to get back into quilting.  I guess it will be my second quilting life if I do get back into it.  The same sort of thing has happened.  In the 3 or 4 years since I stopped quilting, things have changed.  Now there are all these new fangled precuts which are marvelous, neat patterns all over the place, and the best part is -- all these hand applique designs!!!!!  Argh!!!  Like this

Or this

These amazing quilt patterns can be found at Threadbear Quilts in Australia.   The first one is the Civil War Bride Quilt.  There's a blog that I think I have the link for in my side bar.  The second quilt is Phebe's Quilt by Di Ford.  I so totally want to do both!  (Thanks to Lizzie for the second picture.  Hope you don't mind, Lizzie!

6.  I have a fear of crowds.  I think it's because once upon a time in junior high, there was this event in the gym.  Afterwards, everyone was crowding out and something happened and everyone was panicking and pushing and shoving and -- well, I was in the midst of it.   And I went down with people falling on top of me and was sure I was about to be trampled.  Luckily, someone pulled me out and I was ok.  But ever since then I haven't been able to tolerate crowds.  I just get panicky.  Ugh!

7.  I hate housework.  Well, I don't mind the laundry that much, but I hate everything else.  My mother was a clean freak and I'm the exact opposite.  Which isn't a good thing.  Oh well.

8.  The father type and I are pack rats.  I guess that sort of goes along with the housework thing.  But it's true.  Luckily we're not extreme pack rats (ie hoarders) like Homer and Langley.

9.  I'm an anglophile.  Yes, I'm one of those who loves to read about the royals -- actually more the historical royals than the modern day ones.  And I love to read British literature and all that.  I'm an anglophile.  What more can I say?

10.  I love to watch tennis.  Which you probably already know if you read this blog.  The internet has changed my tennis watching.  I used to just watch the slam events.  Now with the advent of online streaming, I've been watching all sorts of tournaments.  The latest and last of the year was last week's ATP World Tour Finals (or WTF, which totally cracked me up the first time I saw that).  Boy, was that a great tournament!  Only the top 8 seeded players in the world going at it.  Totally enjoyable.  And it was at the O2 arena in London.  Cool!

Whew!  I did it!  Now the other part will be harder.  In fact, I'm such a chicken that I'm not going to pass the award on.  Sorry Loretta!   :D   But hey, I think this post is long enough as it is!

Have a great week, everyone!  Thanks for stopping by and saying hello.


corinna said...

love the the stitching
and the teen smile

i get more goofy faces than smiles
when i attempt to photograph them,
lots of upward eye rolling

Giovanna said...

Wow, you're going so fast with those (huge!) letters - didn't you start, like, 5 minutes ago, lol? Very pretty! Many happy returns to your boy, the smile is very endearing.

Jan said...

Love that boy's smile!! That is a picture for the albums!!

Your progress is amazing on the ABC's...I am so jealous, I would love to join that SAL, just sitting on my hands, so I won't get into trouble!!!

Nancy said...

Gorgeous stitching, gorgeous quilts, yummy turkey, and very handsome boy child!

Marjorie said...

I know what it's like trying to get a teen to smile or submit to being photographed--only with me it's my female child, my boy is a ham! Your Prairie Schooler alphabet looks great so far too! I'm a fellow anglophile also--probably the result of extensive exposure to Dickens and Thomas Hardy during my formative years.

Karen said...

I see what you mean about the "A". I visited the Prairie Schooler stitchery blog for more details. I am intrigued by the designs for this stitchery set but would not have thought of changing colors. I can see that you sometimes need to.

valerie said...

Wow, your abc is looking great!

Hmmm, I have this fear of crowds too and housework. Housework is scary stuff!

doris said...

The PS Alphabet is looking wonderful over one. I love stitching over one, but it can get tricky.

Oh, the applique quilts! They're beautiful, and I'd love to have one to treasure, but I know myself well enough to know that it's not what I would love to do.

I also liked your list of things about you. We share a trait or two.

Siobhan said...

Great progress on your stitching, Margaret! Love the pic of the boy child. I enjoyed your award info! ;)

Deb said...

Wow Margaret, I can't believe you already have two of the letters finished. I haven't even started mine yet, although floss and fabric await! You know, I've wondered too, if DMC has changed colors over time because I've run into that problem once or twice on older designs. But you're making good progress.

Ah, and a smile on the dear son's face. It's like dragging a cat to water sometimes with these kids - must be the teenage thing.

And aren't those quilts absolutely to die for. I barely remember anything about applique, but I guess I'm going to have to brush up fast, those quilts are wonderful!

And I really like learning the 10 things about you. We have something in common - I'm scared to death of housework too! LOL

Margie said...

I get the comment about quilting. I had a 10 or so year gap that ended several years ago. While I wasn't quilting everything changed, techinques, fabrics, style. It was fun though to see all the changes and I certainly had fun buying all the new stuff! :-)

mainely stitching said...

Wow, J looks great! :D You're really moving along fast! :D

Natasha said...

Your PS is looking fantastic!!

Lizzie said...

What a great post and a great read Margaret, and no, I don't mind at all, I have a close up of the border if you'd like it (Phebe's quilt). Can't wait until you take the plunge and join us on the CWBQ, really looking forward to it!

Laurie in Iowa said...

WOW... love the progress you're making on the PS alphabets. YGG... stitching over one will slow me down..but it doesn't seem to have affected your stitching speed at all.
Loved reading your reward info and the snap of the boy child is great.

Melissa said...

What a wonderful post Margaret! It's nice to find out all these things about you! We share at least two things - anglophile and crowd phobia!

Good luck with the quilting. I miss it too and I love the applique quilts though I know they are a lot of work.

Your PS Alphabet is looking wonderful and your boy child is looking very grown-up & cool!

SilkLover said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SilkLover said...

I deleted my prior post due to too many typos. I have tried to correct them, but no promises as my keyboard sticks like crazy.

Margaret, I like the red in the ABC piece. It picks up the other colors. If you aren't quite sure if it will work but don't want to take it out just yet, leave it in and use that same color in one or 2 more small motifs to balance it. Now, remember, I am looking at it on my computer screen, so it is not necessarily a true rendition of the colors.
I love hand applique. I am working on a Baltimore Album quilt that I was half way through and got bored with the fist of this year. Recently I have been wanting to go back to it. I love the Civil War Bride's Quilt! Beautiful. The hand applique patterns actually remind me a lot of hand stitching (as in embroidery and cross stitch patterns).

Cathy B said...

Glad you had such a nice Thanksgiving, Margaret! I'm looking forward to watching you progress on your Prairie Schooler ABC piece!

Loraine said...

Oh Margaret! I love your Alphabet blocks. I have joined this SAL, but haven't got my stuff for it yet. I may have to start it after Christmas. So much going on!
I love the color changes and the over one! Do you promise that 30 count isn't too bad? I have been doing my Sail Away grass on 32, and it is taking forever! I hope I finish it! It's too small for me.
Love the pictures and stories.
Take Care.
Hugs to you this Holiday season!

woolwoman said...

Great post Margaret! Your son is so adorable! AH - the PS pieces are so neat - look great over 1 and I also added a few overdyes to my A is for Anchor. I will probably do the same for subsequent pieces - yikes better get B started soon. Quilts are exquisite - so neat! Techniques, tools and stuff just keep getting better it seems. Mel

Cari said...

Margaret your posts are always the best so newsy and full of wonderful pictures. Your list was great, I feel like I got to know you a little better!

What a great picture of your son - he looks like he is having such fun!

And, oh those quilts - I truly want to learn to quilt. My goal was that I would learn when I retire (in a gazillion years) but now, I plan to learn as soon as I finish school - in two years!

I'm with Deb, we all have something in common - I abhor housework - love laundry, love to cook - but cleaning house, yuck!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I love what you've completed so far on the PS blocks. And, those quilts. I think I wanna go home and play in my fabric stash!

Michelle said...

Your alphabet is looking amazing! I am loving it over one. And what a great pic of your son!!! You definitely need to get back into quilting.

samplerlover said...

Hi Margaret,
I enjoyed reading your latest post. Your ABC is looking amazing. I think you have discovered the secret of over ones. So much easier on higher counts although I have done a lot of mine on 32ct. Don't mind small pieces of it on 40ct e.g. verses etc.
You and I have so much in common (you already know that lol). I don't like housework much either, washing is another matter. Our Mums sound very similar. Mine was an incredible neat freak as is my Sister. But I try. Unfortunately it doesn't always work. TTYS - Sandra.

Littlebit said...

OMG..I nearly shorted out my keyboard drooling over your alphabet, Margaret!! It's absolutely beautiful! I could be tempted to stitch that one. It's probably a good thing I don't have an LNS! Your boy child is so handsome..kinda did a doubt Jake take on that pic!

Karoline said...

Your alphabet is looking gorgeous, congratulations

Loretta said...

Margaret, I am really, really, really trying very, very, very hard NOT TO get back into stitching! I look at all those Santa and house ornaments I did all those years ago and wonder 1)how I could see the stitches, and 2) how my hand wasn't numb all the time.

But you are so pulling me over to the dark side.

Must. Not. Get. Into. One. More. Art. Thing. No!

Sherry said...

I love the PS alphabets! Wow, we have more in common than I knew! I want to get back into quilting too. I have missed it. Maybe we should form our own guild! LOL.

Dona said...

Margaret, your PS is really gorgeous. The over one really brings out the beauty of the design. I love the colors and the red in the A as well!