Sunday, January 27, 2008

Working on the BOM

For those of you who haven't seen our guild's BOM here it is! It was designed by Marcella, one of our very talented members indeed! I have fallen in love with its colors and I can't wait until I receive all the installments. It will make quite a nice wall hanging don't you think?

What I've Been Up To Lately...

I would like to show you all my progress on the BOM blocks from our quilt guild. If you haven't done so already check out our website at or click on the handy link in my side bar. My favorite block is the blue jay of course!

The style reminds me of the Mt. Redoubt designs that use some batiks to give a sort of dreamy/impressionistic quality to the quilt blocks. I can't wait to get all the installments!

I'm still working on the Lone Star during our Tuesday night gathering at E's. I chose more batiks in a Fall-type palette of colors. - I'm not in love with it but I'm determined to turn it into a table topper for our house in the U.S.

Friday, January 18, 2008

A Tale of Two Kitties

I thought it would be nice to post some pictures of our two cats that we were lucky to acquire in Saudi Arabia. This is the story of their ancestry:

A good friend of ours had two beautiful cats that were given to her by one of the Saudi princesses here in Riyadh. The male cat is grey and white with very long fluffy fur and the female is a calico (white, cream and grey) full-blooded persian. These two cats mated and had four kittens. My DH (who loves cats) brought two of these kittens (both females) back to our house during summer 2006 (while I was in the States on vacation!) When I came back from my vacation that summer I was delighted to see that they were so beautiful and well-behaved so I caved in and decided that they should stay. Don't get me wrong - I love cats but the absence of good veterinary care here in the Kingdom has always made me a bit wary of taking on the responsibility of taking care of pets especially cats! I did find a wonderful American-trained vet, Dr. Majed, who was able to give them all the necessary immunizations and to spay them at 8 months. (Oh, I hope Dr. Majed stays in Saudi Arabia for as long as we need him!!!) So they are fine for now. Maybe some day I will be able to bring them back to the USA.

It is interesting to note that one of the kittens looks just like the father cat (but not as magnificent as what my DH says) and the other one is every bit like her mother with a cute little persian face and the calico coloring. I never realized that cream/white/light grey mix would be classified as calico until I saw it in some cat breed book designated as dilute calico! I still haven't been able to determine what kind of cat the father is. My DH says that he has beautiful long fur like a persian but that his face is more like an ordinary cat and the eyes are green. Maybe he is also some sort of angora mix but I think the princess who originally had the cats said they were special, who knows... It's hard to keep track of these things when you are a princess!!!

Here are some pictures of them that I took this morning. Their eyes are more beautiful than that (the pics don't do them justice) but it's just to give you an idea of what they look like.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I think I have a tree theme going on here...

DS arrived at his destination safe and sound. He called us (messaged us and we called him back!) from Zurich and from Chicago. The flights were full but he slept nearly all the way. Classes will start on monday (today) - I just hope he had enough of a rest to carry him through this semester. We managed to clean his teeth and he promised he would use the sonicare toothbrush at least twice a day (flossing is another story!!!). Oh well.. there is only so much that a mother can control from 3,000+?? miles away!!!

I finally sewed the binding on my maple leaves quilt and put a label on the back. I called it "Souvenirs de Quebec" to represent the many years I lived in Montreal and Quebec city. It's done in batiks and is beautifully machine quilted in a swirly pattern by Wilma Gatti of Jericho, VT.

Next I decided that I must finish my pine tree quilt so I fused the pine trees on my background and machine-appliqued around them. For the machine quilting I was stumped because I hate to see uneven tension even though I have the Bernina BSR ( I just need more practice) instead I used some adhesive templates (see white tree in upper left-hand corner) and machine stitched with a walking foot around them all over the background of the quilt. Unfortunately, you can't see from these pictures but it really did turn out nice! For the templates I used this really neat product from EQ Printables I just photocopied directly on the template sheets, cut out the images, peeled off the backing and stuck them to my quilt top. The sticky templates are reuseable and were originally meant to be used for applique! I placed the templates in a random pleasing pattern on my quilt top and machine quilted with a walking foot. Next time I think I should try the 'hand' quilting stitch on my Bernina using invisible thread.

Monday, January 7, 2008

It's a pink (blue really) day...

These fabrics are from Quilt Pink II by Moda. I just love how they go together! I'm thinking of making a baby quilt with 4 1/2" charm squares. So simple and easy to quilt later on with my walking foot (diagonal cross-hatching I think). 

I've been so lazy about getting started on any thing. I guess my excuse is that DS is leaving today and I don't want to be involved in any thing that will take me away from him in case he needs me. All his clothes have been washed and ironed and are waiting for him to decided what he wants to bring with him. Anything that gets left behind can be set later on with DD who will be here in February... so no need to panic. Just feeling sad...

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Does anyone know what kind of tree this is?

My friend has this tree in her yard and she just loves it! It has a silvery trunk and medium-sized, heart-shaped leaves that flutter slightly with every breeze. Sort of like a quaking aspen but with larger leaves. I took a picture of her tree but I could not get the whole thing in the frame so remembering seeing this tree at the Four Season's Hotel here in downtown Riyadh I went out over there and shot this view of it. The guard looked at me like I was crazy as I jumped out of my car and ran up on the lawn at mid-day with my camera. I managed to grab a leaf too!

It's such a nice change from the ever present palm tree and the fresh green reminds me of home. My DH is keen on planting one in the garden of our new villa here in Riyadh but I don't know the name of this tree. I think it might be a species of ficus? If anyone knows out there I would really like the info so that I can research it and talk with the landscaper about getting one for us. So far we're not completely happy with what he has chosen and we would like to make some changes. Over at J-A's house her tree has grown so tall that it reaches her second floor! Now wouldn't that be a nice thing to see from your bedroom window?! Green is good for the soul just look at that leaf!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year 2008!

It's already January 2nd! Yesterday and the day before I was so busy taking poor, sick DS from one Doctor to the other. On top of his bronchitis he developed a case of gastroenteritis with fever, nausea and the latest development - diarhea! Yesterday he couldn't hold any fluids down and today the runs! I'm trying to push fluids and thankfully he is doing his best to cooperate. I hope we have turned the corner...

My vision for 2008:
1- Take Arabic lessons with a tutor.
2- Lose enough weight 'til I'm in the healthy range (for my age and height).
3- Excercise to boost my metabolism.
4- Take quilt classes and sew for an hour (at least) per day.
5- Go to the Dubai and Vermont quilt festivals.
6- Learn how to meditate.
7- Read more books - start a book club here in Riyadh.
8- Be calm and supportive to husband and kids (but give them my ideas!)
9- Be a good friend.
10-Be more creative.
11-Learn this blogging thing by taking One on One at the Apple store in Cleveland!!!

What are some of your goals for the next year????