Sunday, August 17, 2014

Simplicity

I just read something in Guideposts yesterday that seemed like a profound statement to me: "Live Simply to help others Simply Live." It was stated by a couple in England a long time ago. They had sold their mansion and lived in a cottage a fourth of the size of their former house and they started many charities with their excess funds.
I've long been a fan of decluttering and simplifying.  But that statement really made me start to think.
I'm in the process of having a little remodeling done and it means I had to clean out my large walk-in closet.  When I moved in here, I thought I had decluttered, but I still seem to have more than I need and a lot of it went into my closet because I didn't have any other place to put it at the time.  These two pictures are of the guest bedroom where I dumped everything from my room. 

And, believe it or not, I've already sorted a large black trash bag full of clothes to go to my church -- they have regular clothing give-aways and all the stuff that's still in good condition goes to someone who needs it more than I do.  I haven't finished emptying the dresser drawers or the clothes dumped into this closet - and I have an office floor with boxes of shoes that I will never wear again -- those too will be given away. 
There will be nothing put back into the walk-in closet that doesn't belong in there, that I can and do wear, and that needs to be in there. 

I just think it's well past the time that I live simply so others can simply live.  That's my goal for now and in the future for cleaning out my house.  It'll take awhile -- trust me on that one!
And that's not even talking about the fabric and quilt stuff! :-)

Until next time....blessings.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar!

The deck on the back of the house was never stained.  Mostly it was just left to weather and was a nasty gray color.  So the first two pictures are of the deck after I power washed it, sanded some of it and washed the deck with Deck Wash.  I did that a couple of weeks ago and then waited for it to dry out after a few rainstorms.

It's been an extremely busy summer trying to get things done around here and still trying to catch up on quilting the homeless quilts.  So, finally Friday I started staining the spindles and railings.  Saturday I put the second coat on the spindles and railings and the first coat on the deck and the steps.  Today, after church and in the hot noon day sun, I put the second coat on the deck and steps.  Done is better than perfect and I'm happy with it!  The color is called Russet, but it looks a little reddish brown.  The siding on my house is a light tan.  Pictures were taken from the patio door that opens to the great room.

It feels really good to have accomplished this task by myself.  I still have to sand the porch rockers and stain or paint them -- hopefully before the snow flies!
Next up is a bedroom remodel that I will not be doing myself.  I will, however, be making the curtains for the windows. 

Until next time...blessings.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Sound of Music

Just got home from the Sound of Music musical performed at the Starlight Theatre at Rock Valley College in Rockford. 
It was magnificent!  Wow are there some beautiful voices out there! Directed by Mike Webb and he's been directing plays and musicals for more than 20 years there.  The Starlight Theatre gets its name from it's roof.  It's an open air theatre with a roof that actually opens in the shape of a star so you are literally sitting under the stars watching the show.  And the weather was absolutely beautiful today and tonight for this show.  Superb!

Until next time....Blessings.

Monday, July 07, 2014

A quilt - for a change!

Seems to have been a busy year for me.  I did go on an Alaskan cruise in June -- it was a Quiltmaker's Block Party Cruise and my niece came with me.  We had a blast.  I took two quilt classes - one a Debbie Caffrey mystery that was really a great quilt.  I got one third of it done in class, and just finished the top last week.
We went to Juneau, Sitka, and Ketchikan -- Alaska is really an unbelievably beautiful state.  We even got to see a whale breach!  Stunning.  I think all I got on film was the splash afterwards!
I think I'm done traveling for awhile now.  Summer has arrived in the midwest -- I think.  We've had more rain in the past few months that it just feels like an extension of our very wet winter!  I'm enjoying the sun though, and not going to complain!

The quilt I did today:  Jo's Little Women's Club 13.  Those little squares are cut 1-1/4"! I used a lot of fabrics from last year that I had cut into at least 1-1/4" strips and some squares.  It's time to use up the fabrics I have -- I have tons of new Jo Morton fabrics, but I'd like to use up the old stuff too. 


I have organized a sew-in at my church once a month -- we're piecing quilts for the homeless.  I have a group of women that have never pieced a quilt -- most beginners and most don't even have a machine, so those of us that are quilters bring in extra machines and try to show them what to do!  We have an unlimited supply of 2-1/2" - 5" squares for them to put together.  I've also been trying to cut up some of my older fabric into larger squares so they can actually finish a top once in a while!  So far, I've quilted 3 of these quilts, bound one, still have one to put a label on, and thankfully, my friend Nancy takes them and binds them for me.  She's also provided me with 6 more tops that she's put together for me to quilt!  It seems to never end!  We're shooting for another 25 quilts to distribute in October or so.  We distributed 27 in May and they were well received.  These quilts are 60"x80".

Until next time....Blessings

Monday, May 19, 2014

New Baby

 I have been missing in action apparently!  Our church delivered 27 quilts to the homeless in our community last week.  And it was decided we'd do it again when we got 25 more made.  And since I did most of the quilting and one lady did most of the piecing and binding, we decided we'd teach a few ladies to piece quilts!  So, I went hunting for machines this morning.  Found a couple at Goodwill and Mission thrift stores and then went to the sewing machine store and bought two used machines -- cheap!  They're all cleaned up and oiled and ready to go.  But the three I bought at the thrift shops were not.  So, I managed to get two of them cleaned and oiled and they actually work really nicely.  I'll attempt the third one later this week.  But, this one was a find!  An antique "Rockford" machine in fabulous shape.  Made in Japan for the Rockford Co., Rockford, Illinois.  Which is where I live. Since it is not a featherweight (!), I'll probably leave it at church in case someone wants to sew during the weekdays.  I'll leave one of the other ones at church too. 
Our inaugural Sew-In is planned for this Saturday, so I'll be hauling a lot of stuff between now and then.  But I'm kinda excited to teach others to piece quilts.  I know at least 4 people are going to be there -- and none of them has a portable machine!

Other news:  I bought the computerized Statler Stitcher for my Gammill longarm machine.  Had two days of intense instruction on how to use it and haven't had a chance to do anything on it for weeks!  Yesterday I finally got a small quilt loaded and practiced an edge to edge pattern - screwed up the last row, but the important thing is that I know what I did wrong!  It's an amazing machine and I can't wait to spend time working with it.  

I'm looking forward to summer (if winter ever gets over - we had snow the other day!).  I have lots of plans to work in the yard and stain my deck and plant some flowers and try to fit in time in the basement with my sewing/quilting stuff!  Oh yeah -- and take plenty of walks to loose 30 excess pounds!

Until next time, blessings.....

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Drum roll please....

The tiny bath in the basement is finally finished -- today! 
There's a shower to the right of the sink, but don't plan on using it -- kind of a selling point for the next owners -- after I'm gone!  I hung the mirror and tp holder and towel ring myself as soon as the plumber left today!

While the plumber was working, I managed to get this quilt quilted and bound for Steve's best friend's daughter.  She was born a few days after Steve died and I never got around to making her baby quilt. She'll be three in May.  Picture's not the greatest -- I took it with my phone.
 

Next on the agenda: Nancy at church is bringing me 13 twin size quilts for the homeless to make backings for and quilt. We'd like to deliver them soon, so I hope to get three done a week, if I can. 
Until next time....blessings.