Sunday, January 31, 2016

End of January

Last day of the month and time to revisit the goals I set for myself for 2016.

 First goal was to lose 5 pounds a month.  As of this morning, I have lost 7.6 pounds this month!  Yay me.

I set a goal to clean something out every week.  So far, I've cleaned the bathroom drawers and cabinet, the 9 bin organizer in my closet, the linen closet, the dry sink, and this past week, I cleaned out my food cabinet.

And my goal to work on and finish ufo's:  I finally got my Merry, Merry Snowman quilt quilted and the binding is on, and in the process of being sewn down.

For my diet:  I joined the Chip program (Complete Health Improvement Plan) thru the Y in collaboration with a local hospital.  This diet is totally vegan:  No meat, no dairy, no eggs, no sugar, no processed food, no caffeine, no snacking.
You eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and only whole grains.  We meet 3 nights a week and this past week was our first meetings.  It is very intense, lots to learn, lots of evidence of what a vegan lifestyle will do for you -- not can, will! They did blood tests and weigh-ins last week and we got the initial results on Thursday.  Many people have been able to go off their meds for blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides on this program.  All of my numbers are high, so of course my goal is to drop my blood sugar to normal, and lower the other numbers -- maybe even to go off my meds.  My doctor has been informed I'm doing the program, so she can monitor my meds.

I had set a goal for myself to lose at least 30 pounds this year -- well, my sheet recommended I lose 43!  Shocking when someone else says it!  So, my new goal is at least 40!
We also got a cookbook, a workbook, and a textbook for the class and a pedometer -- 10,000 steps a day.  So far, I've managed 7033 one day and 6196 yesterday.  Guess I'm going to have to work a little harder on the exercise, so my goal of exercising 3 days a week has now been expanded to at least 5 days a week!
I'll keep you posted on my progress with this program. (It's actually easier than I thought it would be - even though I thought it was vegetarian, not totally vegan!)

Until next time.....blessings.



Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Keeping up with my goals

I am working on the goals I set for this year and keeping up with most of them.
One goal was to pick a spot each week to clean up or clear clutter from.  Last week's goal was my linen closet and I managed to do that.  Week before was cleaning out the 9 bin organizer in my closet and that, too is done.  This week's goal:  Clean off the top of the Dry Sink, which is in my office and a surface that manages to collect things - mostly candles and decor I remove to change out seasonal stuff.  So, I cleaned it off this morning:
I also managed to walk on the treadmill this morning -- this goal is harder to maintain, so I have to force myself to do it until it hopefully will become a habit. 

I have my Merry, Merry Snowman top (Bunny Hill Designs) on the longarm and am slowly custom quilting it.  It's not a great job, but I am learning so much stuff -- finally!  I need to finish it this week and get back to quilting homeless quilts again.

Until next time....blessings.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Making some progress

I've been working a little bit with the donated fabric and the new cube organizer.  The top row of cubes has scraps and strips and squares that I've cut.  I got a little overwhelmed with all of that, so they aren't in any order, just basically thrown together.

 The two bins on top of the organizer are full of cut squares for the group at church to piece quilts together -- one has 3-1/2" squares for kids quilts and the other has 5" squares for homeless quilts.

Have you ever cut up your leftovers into squares and strips and saved them ala Bonnie Hunter style?  I used to, and over the years gave away everything I had saved because I didn't use them after I did all that organizing.  So, when we started prepping to make quilts at church -- there's a few quilters and about 10 non-quilters, so we had to teach the non-quilters what to do -  I started cutting squares and strips again.  Well, that's all well and good, but again, I wasn't using the 2-1/2" squares or anything else.  So the cubes are full of scraps and cut squares and strips.  
 I pulled a stack of 2-1/2" squares and started making 2-patches.  They will become 4 patches and maybe eventually, I'll add them to the 16-patch blocks I've had in the stash for years now and may become a quilt eventually!
I'm going to work with one cube at a time now to deal with leftovers and scraps as I go, and hopefully it'll all be organized eventually and all become quilts for the homeless.
Until next time....blessings. 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

I hope 2016 will be a great year for you...and me!
I bought myself a Christmas present the day after Christmas!  On sale and free shipping, and it arrived yesterday.  Mind you, the thing weighed 130 pounds, but I did manage to get it thru the front door, but then had to open it in the hallway, and carry each piece downstairs individually!  Started putting it together yesterday afternoon and had some problems.  Then had to quit and take another shower because I meet friends for dinner on Wednesday night and I sweat like a horse struggling with the thing!
I tried again this morning, and finally called my friend to help me -- took him very little time and thankfully he was already in Rockford, since he lives 30 minutes from me.  Thanks again, Bob.

I've had all this fabric donated and its been in bags and boxes and stacks all over the studio and I had no idea how much of what I had.  The four cubes on the bottom, and three on the next row are all filled with backing fabrics -- yardage enough for at least 1 quilt and in some cases for two, three or more.  I quilted two kids quilts while I was filling the cubes today and one of them was a shamrock quilt -- halfway thru the quilting I found a piece of shamrock fabric that would have been perfect for the backing!The second shelf from the top is smaller pieces to be used to make the fronts of the quilts, and the top row is scraps and orphan blocks and already cut strips and squares.  I still have a pile of scraps and cut squares to add to those cubes, but my back was killing me and I have some computer work to finish for church.  So, tomorrow I will be cleaning up my mess and getting the rest of the fabric in the cubes and sorted a little better.  I also have 11 bolts of fabric that was donated for backings, so I think we're good for both kids quilts and quilts for the homeless for awhile.  It is so much better being able to see what I have now - I'll have to have my piecers come over and pick out their own fabrics for the quilts!
I'm off to do my computer work.
Until next time.....blessings, and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Youngest grandson, Mikey, in his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles robe and slippers he got for Christmas today!  He's 5. Had a great Christmas with my kids and grandkids at my daughter's house, came home and took a nap!

Now it's time to start thinking about the new year, which 
I've actually been doing for the past month anyway.  I'm not doing new years resolutions this year, for the first time, but I am doing goals.  And some I've already started on.  Also trying to make new routines.

So, first goal is to lose 5 pounds a month.  Routine: make it a habit to exercise at least 3 days a week (I have a treadmill and weight bench in the basement - and hoping to make use of them in 2016!).  Also am going to make a new routine of making up menus every week, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and follow them!  They will be flexible enough that if I go out to breakfast or lunch, I will still be able to lose weight.  So, new routine is also to make it a lifestyle change and start eating much healthier than I do -- I'm not fond of cooking and cooking for one is not fun at all, so this will be a goal that I will really need to work at.

Another goal/routine, which I've already started and done the past few weeks, is to pick one spot that needs cleaning out and do it once a week.  I've done the cupboard in the kitchen that holds leftover plastics and cups (you know -- every time you open the cupboard door, the containers fall on your head!) - but not anymore at my house!  I've done my bathroom cabinet -- first week was just the two drawers and second week was the rest of the cabinet.  Found stuff I didn't know I had! Next week is the shelf unit in my closet that has cloth drawers in it that I stuffed with extra sheets, etc. because my linen closet barely holds the towels!  Week after that might be another shelf in that closet, or it might be something else that's bugging me!  Not making things overwhelming -- just one small area at a time.

I have quilting goals too. And for 2016 it's not just going to be quilts for the homeless and for kids.  I want to spend some time on my own projects.  I want to finish some ufo's, but I'm not going to put a number to how many - just finish some.  I'm forming a group with a couple of friends to get together once a month for show and tell, work on our own projects, including ufo's, and eat soup for lunch!  And maybe even work on a quilt together -- exchange blocks and each of us make our own version of the same quilt.  

And, of course, I'll still be working on homeless quilts and kids quilts -- I have 8 tops to be quilted right now for the homeless, and I think 8 for the kids too, but I'm going to try to not let them takeover all my quilting time.  

So, that's some of my goals for the new year, what are some of yours?
Until next time.....blessings.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Been Awhile

So, this is some of what I've been up to:  today I finished piecing the 9-patches -- 235 of them to be exact.  And I can tell you I am putting them away for now, but hope to make them into a homeless quilt sometime next year.  Right now I'm sick of 9 patches!

I also have been quilting kids quilts to be given away.  We've given away 12 to the kids at church, and aiming for 50 more to give to the Motherhouse Crisis Nursery in Rockford, IL.
It takes about twice as long to load these little quilts as it does for the Statler to quilt them!  I quilted 3 this afternoon, and loaded another one to start with next time.  They are only 36" square, but the kids at church loved theirs.

I'm done with therapy on my hand.  Still have some fine motor skills to get back, but I'm right handed and I don't have fine motor skills there either! (smile).  I have tried to knit a little and as long as I don't try to use tiny needles (like I was using for knitting socks), I think it's going to work.  I don't knit fast, or for very long, but so far I don't have pain - and that was the point! And if the fabric isn't too thin, I can hold pieces together for appliqueing too.

Last week I was down with a cold, so that put me out of commission for a week -- just couldn't even drag myself downstairs to sew or quilt.  I did read a lot.  I'm now half way through book 7 of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.  One more after this one.  Sometimes the story gets a little bogged down, but I've been pretty good about perservering!

I'm making a list of projects/things I want to accomplish next year. It'll be a general list -- probably not any hard deadlines to finish, but I have so many things that are half done, or almost finished and a lot that have a long way to go yet, so I want to at least get them a little organized in my mind!  There will be a few things that will have deadlines on them too. 

Until next time....blessings.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Sttching Up a Storm - Snow that is

We are in the path of the snow coming from the west -- supposed to start this evening -- 5"-8" when all is said and done.  Of course I have family coming over Sunday for Thanksgiving, but pretty sure the roads will be cleared by then -- and my driveway!

So, I've been working on the 9-patches to clean off my table top.  Have all the strips sewn together:
And as of today, I have all the 3-patches cut.  Have you ever used this ruler:  It's called a Shape Cut by June Tailor.  It made short work of cutting all the 3-patches, although there were so many that I took a break yesterday from standing at the cutting table so long and finished up this morning.  You can cut in one inch and one half inch increments, so I could trim, cut 1-1/2, 3, 4-1/2, 6, etc. increments all the way across the strip up to 12" before I have to move ruler or fabric.
So this is what the 3-patches look like:  doesn't look like much, but let me tell you it's a lot!
I started sewing them together this morning and got so bored I thought I'd fall asleep at the machine.  So, I had this little kids quilt cut out already, so started piecing it together between the 6-patches!  The rows are altogether, but it was taking up too much space on the sewing table, so I'll piece the rows together into a top before I start the 9- patches again.
And finally, these are all the 6-patches done -- another day's worth of sewing to make them 9-patches and I'm really, really tired of sewing them together.  They will get set aside when they are done for another time to make into a quilt!
Since I need to bake pies and prep the turkey and stuffing tomorrow, I probably won't get back to the sewing room til Monday or Tuesday.

Until next time.....blessings.