Sunday, January 01, 2017

New Year's Goals

The quilters at church met on Friday.  We sewed, or cut fabric, most of the day.  This stack is a bunch of backing fabric donated by one of the quilters.  We will use all of this for backings for the homeless quilts we make.
And this stack is 4 tops that one of the quilters pieced at home and brought in.  What we work on at church, we finish at home, and  bring them in each Sunday for me to quilt.  So far, we have 10 finished 60" x 80" quilts for the homeless, and 5 kids quilts, although we've already donated a couple of kids quilts this week.  We save them all up until October and distribute all at the same time.

So, I'm a good one for making New Year's Resolutions and of course forgetting them or giving up, come April or so!  This year I'm going to do something different.  I'm going to make monthly goals.  A couple of friends from church and I are doing a scripture-based diet this year - hoping we'll keep each other honest and work toward our own individual goals.  So, in keeping with that, my January goal is to walk for 30 minutes at least 5 days a week.  I'd like to say I'll strive for 10k steps a day, but maybe I'll get closer to that goal later in the year.  For now, it's just trying to get 30 minutes of walking in 5 days a week.

My next goal is to clean out the freezer, fridge and pantry -- by eating what I have accumulated! A veritable Fridge Buffet (love that phrase coined by Kathy H.!)  I will be buying groceries, of course, but I'll be trying to use up what I have, so only buy whatever beans I need for my chili, for instance.  And coming up with different meals from what canned goods and freezer food I already have.  I'm going to print out both of these goals and post them on the fridge to remind myself every day.

And quilt goals:  I'm going to continue to cut fabrics and make kits for our quilters to use to make homeless quilts.  I spent most of December doing this, and can see an end to the donated fabric that is not really great quilt fabric, but good enough to use up.  After all that donated fabric is used, I will be using my own stash, as have our quilters that piece the quilts at home.  They have used lots of the donated stuff, plus fabric that was donated to them, and now we're all starting to use good quality quilting fabric.  I will post this goal in my sewing room.  I ordered a new die today for the Go Big die cutter -- a tumbling block die -- so I'll be cutting into some kids fabric and make a couple of kits from that.  We need a variety of patterns to keep everyone interested!

So, there are my goals for January 2017.   Hopefully I can report progress at the end of the month!
Until next time....blessings.


Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year!



Here we are at the end of 2016.   I, for one, am not sorry to see it go.  Looking forward to 2017.  I have one resolution for the new year:  reduce the stress in my life.  And I've already made a major change that I think will help a lot!   Otherwise, I make the usual resolutions: lose weight or grow taller, quilt more, laugh more, travel some.  Gonna try again to make up menus and stick to them - I do better when I plan dinner ahead of time!

A friend and I went to a movie this afternoon.  If you get a chance, Fences is excellent.  I expect both Viola Davis and Denzel Washington to get Oscars -- it was that good. 
 Hope everyone has a happy, healthy new year.
Until next time....blessings.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Finished a top today.  This is one of our homeless quilts.  I used all Kansas Troubles Fabrics, which are my favorite and I enjoy working with them.  The pattern is very simple, because we need to make a lot of quilts and it's best to keep it simple.  Although, this year we're going to be making some different patterns because we're all bored with 5" squares!  I have cut some 2-1/2" strips, so we will do some rail fence,  And we've done a stretched star quilt this year too.
I will be quilting this one next week, hopefully.  I've been finishing up the pile I had leftover from the last giveaway -- about 5 big quilts like this, and 5 kids quilts, and still have 4 lap quilts to sandwich and quilt. 
The quilters meet again on the 30th, so hope to have them done by then, and I'll pass them on to Nancy, who does all the bindings on the machine.
Had to run to the store this morning for a couple of groceries and put together my potato salad for Sunday, and then went to the quilt studio!
So, just stopping by for a minute to wish everyone a very merry Christmas!
Until next time....blessings.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Woo Hoo An Update!

It's only been six months, but I decided to update the blog anyway!
I have very few finishes of my own quilts this year, but this is one of them.  I bought this as a kit from Quilters General Store in Rockford a few months ago.  Managed to put the top together and then set it aside while finishing all the homeless and kids quilts we gave away this year (131 altogether).  Anyway, finally quilted it the other day and now I have a finished quilt.  I'll put it on the table for Christmas day with the family.   
Most of my own stuff I've worked on this year is ufo's and all of them are applique.  I have 6 different ones in a queue that I work on and hopefully 2017 will see at least a couple of them finished.
I also bought myself a Christmas present this year:  a Go! Big fabric cutter, by Accuquilt.  I should have bought it two years ago, because we have a lot of donated fabric that we use for homeless quilts and I hate cutting squares and strips.  We have 3 beginners in our quilting group, so we need to have the fabric precut for them.  So, I've spent the past few days cutting fabric and also piecing backgrounds for homeless quilts.  The goal has been to use up the donated fabric -- which is not all good quality stuff.  I am excited to say that as of today -- I have pieced backgrounds or cut all the donated fabric for use in homeless quilts and from here on out, we'll be using stash fabrics -- which is good quality fabric, just very old!  I am now looking forward to cleaning out my fabric cupboard!
I bought a calendar book made by Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet, and one of her suggestions for handling stash is to cut all the stuff that's a fat quarter or less into usable pieces.  She does 1-1/2" strips, 2-1/2", 3-1/2", 5" and 7" squares and/or strips and separates them into baskets.  I only have the 5" square die and the 2-1/2" strip die right now, and that's what we use for homeless quilts; but I think I'll design a couple of easy quilts using different size dies and cut and sort my fabric accordingly.  So, the goal for next year is to get the fabric cabinet under control and lots of fabric cut into usable sizes!
I used to cut my scraps into different sizes like Bonnie Hunter does, but found I never used them, so having some patterns designed ahead of time that are quick and easy to put together and then cutting the pieces to those sizes seems like a good idea!
Until next time....blessings.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

June 11, 2016

Time sure gets away from me!
I have new neighbors -- they bought the house next to me, redid the inside and the outside and have it on the market to sell, but she is here at least 3 times or more a week, working on the yard, etc.  Her husband was off work this week, so she volunteered him to put my new flag pole in the ground!  They came out yesterday and today and did all the work!
I looked down the block on Memorial Day and no one was flying the flag,  The one I had didn't have a post or bracket for so I went out and bought the pole!  

Haven't been doing well on my diet at all -- been gaining weight even.  Hurt my knee so wasn't even walking, but I see my miles on the Appalachian Trial finally hit 100!  Only a few thousand to go!

Also been working on one of Rogene's quilts (Rogene was a good friend and quilter and Kris and Ginny and I have been finishing some of her quilts for her kids).  The iris quilt was one she appliqued for her daughter's wedding, 10 years ago!  It was a running joke as to how many blocks she had left to do.  Anyway, we went with what she had done, Kris pieced them together and I just took it off the longarm last night.
I do custom quilting so seldom that I have to retrain myself every time to get the machine to do what I want it to!  In fact, I had to retrain myself from one day to the next on this one! lol  But I finally got it done.  The setting triangles and sashes have a leafy pattern in them.
It's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I think Rogene's daughter will love it anyway.

Until next time....blessings.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

May 3 Again

Well, surprised myself and managed to get something done.  The driveway guys finally showed up about 1 pm, but it didn't take them long - probably why it only lasts 2 years! So, ran my errands and had lunch, then headed to the basement with the idea that I'd do whatever I felt like once I got there - even if it meant not quilting!  And, this quilt was already loaded, so didn't take long to set it up and start quilting it. And now another one is finished.  And yes, that is Christmas fabric on the back -- it was donated and not too bad to use, so that's what I put on there!

Then I loaded the next one, and it's all basted and ready to quilt ... tomorrow or Thursday!
And, while the top one was quilting (and I chose a pattern that took awhile to finish each pass so I didn't have to keep jumping up and down), I worked on my next ufo project.  This book is from Country Threads and was published in 1996!  I think it was at least 2005 when I started this quilt -- and I don't have much of it done at all.  The instructions call for all the applique blocks to be done before the pieced blocks are finished, so I'm working on the applique.  I've always liked Country Threads applique patterns -- kinda folk art and primitive.  Finished the Soap block today.
The next few blocks are already prepped, so put it away and took out the next ufo project:  Lucy Boston quilt.  I have a few of the blocks prepped, so just started sewing the first one together.  
Didn't get on the treadmill at all, so not many steps to add today... maybe tomorrow.
Until next time....blessings.

May 3


 This pic was taken a couple of weeks ago, when the daffodils were blooming all over themselves.  If our weather would ever be consistent, everything else will be blooming soon.
I'm anxious to see what the peonies look like and all the other flowers that were planted last year.  My landscape people did come out and do a spring cleanup a month ago and added more mulch to all the beds, so all I have to do is weed!  I can live with that!
I managed to get on the treadmill yesterday morning -- and ran errands, so my step count almost made it to 10,000 yesterday:  9877!  Today's will not be that good -- I'm waiting for the people to come and seal my driveway today -- and I have no idea what time they'll be here, so it's just hurry up and wait.  I didn't get to the basement to quilt yesterday either, but did manage to at least do the laundry!
Today will be spent doing some work on the computer and waiting for the driveway people.  I do need to run to the pharmacy and grocery store after they finish and hopefully will be able to do some quilting today too.

Until next time....blessings.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

May1

Hey, look at me - two posts on two consecutive days!
 I had a late start today, had to count money after church! But came home, changed clothes and even put on my walking shoes.  Ate some lunch, then came down and quilted this first quilt, which I had loaded yesterday afternoon.  It's one of our quilts for the homeless -- most of them are really scrappy and I just do an edge to edge pattern over them.  Quick and easy.
 So, then I loaded the next one - to be finished tomorrow or whatever day I get back to the basement!   It's basted as far as its going to get til I start rolling it, so just need to set up the Statler, put the side tensioners on and the magnets on the belly bar to hold the top.  Easy Peasy!
 While the quilt was stitching, I cut more fabrics -- I've been cutting leftover 2-1/2" strips into 6-1/2" lengths to make rail fence quilts - again for the homeless project.  There's 6 or 7 ladies that sew the tops together at church for me to quilt, but some are new quilters, so I try to have pieces cut for them to sew.  

So, also on my to-do list was make spaghetti sauce.  I tried a new recipe from an online friend:  when you're eating vegan, you just try to add veggies to everything you cook!  So that's what I did.  It was good and I have lots leftover already in containers on the counter waiting for them to cool enough to freeze.  I have one comment:  everytime I'm anywhere near spaghetti sauce, I wear it!  I never order spaghetti in a restaurant because I will for sure be wearing it before I leave!

The only thing that I didn't do on my list today was walk on the treadmill - and I'm way too tired to do it now, so no where near 1/2 of the 7000 steps I was aiming for.  
As Scarlet says,"Tomorrow is another day."

Until next time....blessings.