Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Years Eve Quilting

I spent the afternoon making Depression Blocks -- I had 4 done previously and made 10 more today. That leaves 16 to do 15 minutes at a time during the next few weeks. I'm in no hurry-- just enjoying the process.

Our NYE celebration tonight will consist of Beef Kabobs for dinner and watching the Bears beat the Packers on TV tonight! I've been going through quilt magazines in the evenings, tearing out the patterns/info I want to keep and tossing the rest. It's a good job to do while watching tv, especially football. I have some from the past two nights that are waiting to be filed into sleeves and added to a notebook. It's taken me years to come up with a good system for these and I think this is it -- so much easier to page through a notebook or two or three than the hundreds of magazines. And, I'm trying to be very selective -- I don't want to save something I know I will never make. Some I save will just be a jumping off point of an idea, but the rest will be real possibilities. I have some printouts from the 'net that I have saved also. I'm being very selective there too.

Happy New Year everyone. Be safe.

Gratitudes:
A phone call from a friend.
A nice relaxing quilty day.
Quietly seeing the year out, looking forward to the new one coming in.


Saturday, December 30, 2006

Getting Ready for the New Year


I put up Tulip Farm and took down my Christmas Quilt today.

Then I spent the afternoon working on one of my resolutions: to finish one of the leaders/enders quilts I have started. So I finished making hst's for one of the Depression Block quilts I started and then sorted the rest for the second Depression Block quilt! The first will be with lights and will be 30 blocks, the second will be with the tans as backgrounds and there will be 22 blocks (so probably only use 20 of them and put the hst's back into the scrap basket. Tomorrow I hope to start putting some of the blocks together.

We got a new digital camera from our kids for Christmas this year -- a tiny, Nikon Coolpix P2 -- with 1 gigabyte card in it. It is even WiFi capable (which means if I had the capability, I could just unload the camera onto the laptop wirelessly - but I don't have a wireless network set up or broadband internet service, for that matter!). But the picture above was taken with the new camera -- and so was the last picture of the Baby Rails quilt. I like it -- pretty cool, but I still need to learn everything about it!
Dinner tonight was from a soup mix my niece sent from Harry & David's. It was Tomato, Basil with White Beans. And, it was excellent. I think Bill liked it -- he had two bowls full. And, we have enough left over for another meal later next week.
Gratitudes:
I was able to pull all the hst's for the Depression Block quilts easily from fabric baskets on the sewing tables and start right in on it. That is so much nicer than having to do a search and destroy mission!
Keith Urban's new cd kept me company while I sewed today -- it's a good cd.
The new camera is fun to use and so tiny!
Nice dinner tonight again -- because I planned it ahead of time.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Ringing in the New Year

This quilt is called "Baby Rails with Attitude". It was a pattern from Quilter magazine, I believe. I used almost every scrap of the 30's fabrics I bought at our guild show in October. I finished the top on Christmas Eve -- it went together really easy and I really like the quilt. It's about 45 x 49, and it will be for our new Grandchild due in August.

I spent an hour at the doctor's office this morning only to find that the problem with my "underneath quilting" finger is just more arthritis and probably a high degree of inflammation. All I know for sure is that it hurts and I can't hand quilt with it! So, tomorrow I start on some new high-dose prednisone type stuff for a week -- hopefully that will take care of the problem. I can live with stiff fingers -- all my other ones are anyway but they don't really hurt, this one does!

I've been thinking about my New Year's Resolutions for at least the last month. I try to make realistic ones -- yeah, I'd like to finish every ufo I have, but that's not going to happen in one year even if I worked on nothing but ufo's! I posted them on the right (hopefully!). I can combine a couple -- like learning everything I can on the longarm with finishing the 12 tops -- I think I probably have close to 12 finished tops, but if not, I will! I'm looking forward to doing more of Judy's Hour a Day quilts -- it's nice to use up stash and fun to work along with others in Blogland. I want to actually do a couple of Bonnie's scrap quilts with my already cut scrap strips -- I love most of the ones on her site, but have only done the Pineapple Blossom. I have a few different leaders/enders projects started (because I get bored doing the same ones), so I want to finish at least one of those. And I want to do at least 15 minutes a day of quilt related things -- getting organized enough that I just need to go in and sit down and sew or quilt. I'll be counting getting everything organized in the 15 minutes a day -- sometimes you just need to clean everything off to get something new started.

I'm not dieting anymore -- I spent months losing 10 pounds, gained it all back plus some when Bill was sick. I'm only going to work on exercising every day -- when I stop exercising, I start gaining, so the key for me is getting on that treadmill everyday, or lifting weights.

I'm trying to plan my menus at least a week in advance -- it is so much nicer to know what I'm fixing for dinner in the morning instead of throwing something together at the last minute. Tonight I'm trying a new to me recipe -- Winter Beef Stew from the 2007 Kraft Foods Calendar for January.

So, those are my ideas for the new year. I need to go up and spend my 15 minutes today counting and recording my ufo's -- I've accepted the UFO Challenge for 2007 on Dusting Your Stash on Yahoo, so I need to have a baseline!

Hope everyone has a Happy, Healthy New Year.

Gratitudes:
1. Having a good relationship with my doctor -- he knows he can tease me and we can both laugh about it. (And I can tease him also!)
2. Looking forward to 2007 with anticipation and not dread.
3. Stopping at the local pharmacy for the first time and being pleasantly surprised by the caring attitude of the pharmacists.
4. Having a menu planned.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas



My collection of Father Christmases on top of my Hoosier cabinets in the kitchen.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday no matter what you celebrate. We'll be going to Stephanie's to play with the grandkids tomorrow. Then I'll be going back up on Tuesday to babysit, so see ya all next week!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Snowmen


My collection of snowmen sitting in the corner of the kitchen. We have no snow left outside, so had to have them inside. vbg
IMHO, Beta Blogger is getting to be a bigger PITA than it ever was. I'm sure they thought they were improving things, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it! (Uploading this picture took two tries).
Anyway -- am as ready for Christmas as I'll ever be -- all sewing projects done and wrapped. So, I've been sewing for fun the past couple of days. Put together the blocks for a top today, just need to do the borders. It's called "Baby Rails with Attitude" from the November 2006 issue of Quilter magazine. I used the 30's fat quarters I bought at our guild quilt show and so far really like the quilt. I'll try to post a picture after I get the borders on.
I'll be babysitting AJ the day after Christmas, so won't be around much. Just want to wish my blogger friends a Merry Christmas and a Healthy New Year (I'll be back with my New Year's resolutions next week!)
Gratitudes:
Peace and quiet at home this week
Christmas cards with yearly updates on friends
Cool, clear forecast for driving on Christmas

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Cookie Day


My beautiful grandchildren on cookie day -- in their new, monogrammed aprons, courtesy of grandma, of course!
We had a lot of fun, and grandma came home totally worn out! vbg
Grandpa, however, managed to wire two new overhead lights in the suspended ceiling in the basement to give me more light over the area that will be filled with my new longarm soon. He also put a new outlet in another wall so I can actually use the treadmill again (and boy do I need to get back on it soon).

I did manage to get the binding sewn on Gratitude, but not yet stitched down. I only did the ditch quilting so far on it, but decided to bind it and pin the label on so I can wrap it and give it to Bill for Christmas. After I get some practice under my belt on the Gammill, I'll finish the rest of the quilting on it. So, sewing the binding down will be the project this week.
BTW -- girlfriend loved the needlepunch Santa picture!

Gratitudes:
Bill is feeling better every day.
It was his idea to add more light to the basement area and he didn't waste time getting the job done.
Spending the day with Steph, Aaron and the kids.
The Bears managed to pull one out of their hat today, after almost giving it away!
Light traffic on the drive up and back to WI today.






Tuesday, December 12, 2006

My Christmas Gift

Bill's been ill for the past few weeks -- since the night before Thanksgiving. So, we've been going back and forth to doctors and having tests, etc. Last Friday night he had to have a ct scan and they were specifically looking at his pancreas. It has been a long weekend. Results came back Monday and there is no mass - thank God. So, now they're going to do an endoscopy, etc -- but it isn't scheduled til January 18. In the meantime, he's starting to feel better (and one of the guesses by the Gastroenterologist was a virus that has been going around -- a type of stomach flu - so possibly that is what is the problem and it just needs to run its course.)

Anyway -- in the meantime we've been discussing a longarm purchase, but I didn't want to talk about it while he's been sick -- I surely wouldn't be able to concentrate on quilting if he were seriously ill. I have been in touch with the Gammill dealer in Janesville, WI -- which is just over an hour from us, and they have called and sent brochures, sales lit, etc. The latest was a sales flyer for an additional $500 in merchandise with the purchase of a machine, with an end date of Dec. 20. So... yesterday after getting the good news on the ct scan, and the fact that Bill felt fairly well yesterday, he asked if I was going to order the machine online or go up there. I said go up there, sometime before the 20th. He said how about this afternoon. We did. My new Gammill Classic Plus longarm machine will be delivered January 11! I'm so excited I can't stop smiling -- and Bill feels better today, too!

Gratitudes:
1. I think Bill is on the mend.
2. I have started quilting Gratitudes and will have it done for Christmas. Now you know why I want to give it to Bill. He is the best husband.
3. I have an incentive to get the basement area cleared out and cleaned up for the new machine!
4. This really is a dream come true.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Another Christmas gift finished

The punchneedle was fun -- can't say the same for framing it! But, it's done and that leaves one more gift to finish. I have my Gratitudes quilt pin basted -- hope to get it quilted soon, although I'm going to be doing it on my Bernina, so it's going to be a pain to quilt. But, the sooner I get it done, the sooner I can move on! vbg

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Look at this Beautiful Baby!

This beautiful baby's name is Ava, she was born last Friday, December 1 to my son Steve's best friend, Lyle and his wife Laura. Oh yeah, that's a quilt I made that she's sleeping on. Isn't she just precious -- don't ya just want to pick her up and cuddle her?! Congrats Lyle and Laura!

Gratitudes:
New babies.
Doctors who seem to know we need answers.
Bill had a much better day today.
The electric heater in the computer room -- boy the basement is cold!


Sunday, December 03, 2006

Finally, a finish



Quilted it on Friday and yesterday got the binding stitched down and the hanging sleeve on -- it is a finished Christmas gift!

Today I worked entirely on the needlepunch project I have going -- it too is a Christmas gift -- still need to get one more floss color and finish the background.

And, yesterday I also cleaned up the sewing tables, sorted another shelf of fabric in the cabinet and refolded a whole bunch of it, leaving me with a new pile for scraps that needs to be cut and put into the various drawers. And, I pressed "Gratitudes" and cut the batting, but decided to buy a fabric for the background for 50% off at the lqs next Saturday instead of piecing one. I want to finish it to give to Bill for Christmas and that will make 5 quilts I finished for Christmas gifts this year! 4 for sure!

Gratitudes:

1. The birds have found the seed and the Juncos are back.

2. The fireplace in the kitchen -- I spent all afternoon sitting at the table watching the Bears game and needlepunching and it was warm and toasty.

3. Creamed chicken and biscuits for dinner tonight -- something easy because I'm feeling lazy!

4. The roads are cleared of snow, and most of the driveway ice has melted off in the sun.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Answers

In answer to the questions:
Yes, our daughter did plan on telling us she is pregnant by sending the Christmas cards, however, I was talking to her on the phone before I went to the mailbox and when AJ got up from his nap, he got on the phone and said: "I'm going to have a baby sister".
It really wasn't a surprise, because we knew they were trying, and I knew it wouldn't take long: she got pregnant with AJ on her honeymoon and the women on my side of the family don't waste much time! vbg

Expecting snow tonight -- tons like everyone else is getting and it is really cold here -- a real difference from the 60° temps we've been enjoying the past few weeks.
Tomorrow I plan on spending in the sewing room. And we're still waiting on phone calls for results of Bill's tests, so can assume he won't be having surgery tomorrow for his gallbladder.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Christmas Card

We received this card in the mail today, from our daughter!

And this one of just AJ:





And this one of just Briana:

And my best friend's youngest son's wife had a 6 lb 6 oz baby boy this afternoon!
Gratitudes:

Grandchildren!


Monday, November 27, 2006

Done is better than perfect

My level of frustration was sky high today trying to put the pieced border on this quilt, so ripped off the inner border and put on the outer border and am calling it done. I really liked the look of the inner pieced border too -- this one just makes it look blah -- but can't take the frustration, honestly. The pieces were already cut and partially pieced -- not going to try to refigure an inch difference into all that! vbg

Bill went to the doctor today -- they think it is his gallbladder -- will get the results of the blood test probably late tomorrow and will schedule surgery then also. So -- if you're keeping count: that's two gallbladders and one appendix for 2006-- so far!

Did manage to get the laundry done, spent an hour on Christmas cards, an hour on the quilt borders and am ready to play with EQ6 for awhile!

Gratitudes:
1. We're getting close to getting answers and hopefully solving Bill's health issues.
2. Phone calls from the boys (Steve continues to recover).
3. Phone calls from friends.
4. Tackling the Christmas card list -- half done is better than not starting!
5. JR napping on his quilt by my feet.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Some actual sewing done



This is the center of a quilt called "Gracie's Garden Sampler" by Brandywine Design (2000). I finished appliqueing the final block and trimmed all the blocks and put them together. Next comes 3 borders. This is a ufo (from 2000!) and I'm going to finish it for a gift this Christmas. Progress is being made!

Also put away all the fall stuff on the guest room bed and put out a lot of Christmas stuff. May get the tree out tomorrow or may not -- Bill is still not feeling good -- has a lot of stomach pain, not totally muscles, so am keeping an eye on him -- may go to the er tomorrow or may wait for dr's appointment on Monday -- depends on how he's feeling.

Gratitudes:

1. Friends that call because they're worried about Bill.

2. Family.

3. The quiet of the house.

4. Getting things done.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Christmas is coming!



I spent most of the day cleaning house. But, while I was doing that, I also was taking down the fall stuff and specifically, the fall quilts. I've put up most of the Christmas/winter quilts, except for one (and that's because I'm using the fall quilt as a design wall right now! vbg).

Anyway -- I did manage to change over our little bath -- this is the bath on the main floor and the sole purpose of having a shower in this bath was so I could make seasonal shower curtains! vbg (Well, maybe not the sole purpose, but pretty close!) I took the fall one down and should have taken a picture first, but forgot. So, here's the Christmas one -- I made it probably 8 or 10 years ago from fabric I bought at Hancock fabrics. This bath is so small and has a pedestal sink and an antique medicine cabinet -- it's easy to decorate and I love it!

I have a guest bed full of fall stuff I've taken down that needs to be put away, plus I did a load of towels, two loads of bath rugs and the second load of quilts just buzzed, so need to go fold and put away! Tomorrow I hope to actually put some Christmas decorations out and maybe by Sunday Bill will feel well enough to bring the tree in from the box in the shed so I can get it decorated! I'm really glad I decided to go ahead and decorate -- it really does make it feel like Christmas is coming!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

HappyThanksgiving!

Hope everyone's Thanksgiving was grand.
Our plans have changed a number of times this year! Turns out Stephanie's former babysitter offered to take both kids tonight for a sleepover and babysit tomorrow. The kids are really excited about it and I don't have to drive up there tonight and drive home tomorrow night. Good deal all the way around. As it turns out, Bill is really sick today, so I would have had to cancel anyway, so it's really a good deal. I think Bill has food poisoning from our usual Wednesday night restaurant -- he's been sick since 1 am. He's finally able to keep some 7-UP down and I've made some turkey soup -- if nothing else he can have the broth tonight.

Made a major decision today while talking to Stephanie on the phone. They put up two trees today -- one upstairs and one in the basement. I didn't put up any tree last year and very few decorations, but I was inspired by her on the phone, so have dug out about 6 of my Christmas decoration boxes (not including the tree decs!) I'm going to put up our tree this weekend and after I clean house tomorrow, I'll start putting out some of my other decorations -- I miss them and I enjoy them. I know it's a lot of work taking out and putting away, and we don't have Christmas here, so it's only for Bill and I, but that's okay -- I feel like doing it this year!

Gratitudes:
1. I think Bill has turned the corner and should start feeling better by tomorrow.
2. Steve called yesterday and he's doing better also.
3. Steph has a line on a new job that she is going to explore -- NOT in retail!
4. I found some frames and have one needle punch gift framed and another started, with frame waiting.
5. Family and friends.
6. Our health -- we are grateful that we have had no major health issues this year.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I Have EQ6!

Guess where I'll be for the next week! Playing on the computer every chance I get. My copy arrived yesterday afternoon after I left for the lqs and guild! But I installed it last night when I got home -- lots of changes I think, and lots of improvements! Can't wait to play!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Monday

Thanksgiving is over for another year -- at this household anyway! Food was great, mess was large, a good time was had by all and it's back to normal here this morning, meaning laundry is being done!
Steve is on his way home this morning. He had a pretty rough weekend, spiked a temp of 102° on Friday night and was a pretty sick puppy all of Saturday and part of Sunday. Started to feel a little better after lunch on Sunday. Today he looks good and feels much better (except for the pain, of course) and is home with antibiotics and pain pills and hoping to get some much needed sleep. Thanks for the prayers.

Sew, today is our last guild meeting for the year (Christmas party/potluck) and plans are to stop at our favorite quilt shop on the way to the meeting (okay -- it's not on the way, technically, but who's counting a few extra miles?!) I need to pick up some frames for my punch needle projects and just get some inspiration. I probably won't be doing any sewing at least til Saturday this week, and really don't feel like starting something anyway. The hand applique project I was working on is not finished, but I determined that I very much dislike it, so will need to make something else for Steph -- so will try to get inspired at the quilt shop today! vbg

Thursday late afternoon I will be driving to WI to spend the night at Steph's to babysit on Friday. One of the bad parts of working retail is you always have to work on the Friday after Thanksgiving and even though Aaron thought he was going to get out of that this year because he now works for UPS, he found he will be working! LOL (For double time, so don't feel badly for him!). So, Grandma to the rescue -- it's a tough job, but someone has to do it!

Gratitudes:
1. Thanksgiving was lovely -- good family time.
2. Steve is doing so much better this morning (had to see for myself, of course!).
3. Back to the normal routine -- I do best with a routine.
4. No cooking today, and leftovers for the next week!
5. Cellphones.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Quick Update

No pictures today -- no sewing. Had big plans for yesterday and they were quickly dashed by my daughter-in-law, Kim calling to say son, Steve, 37, was at the ER in pain. We, of course, spent the day at the hospital. Steve had appendicitis and surgery was about 2 pm. They tried to do the laproscopic type, but his appendix was in bad shape, so they had to go the whole incision way. Back to his room about 4:30, in pain, but with a button! We left at 4:45 and Kim convinced him to push the button! (The pain meds kick in and he falls asleep and I guess he thought he didn't want to be rude or something! vbg) Anyway -- he'll be in hospital 2 - 3 days. We, of course, are having Thanksgiving tomorrow! So, big change of plans on who's bringing what and what is going to get done in the house today (nothing!). It does make you get your priorities in a row! Steph and family will probably stop at the hospital on the way down tomorrow, and I'm sure Kevin & Deb will be up today to visit. Plus, Kim's whole family! Kim thinks he'll be able to go home tomorrow, I'm not making any predictions. This is my boy who is never sick!

Today I have a bom class at the quilt store in the same town as the hospital, so will be running up to check on him after class. Then run home, bake 3 pies, mix up the other things I need to make for tomorrow, maybe run the vacuum on the main floor again and collapse in the chair before collapsing in the bed! vbg
Tomorrow, I'm going to take a page from Melanie and try to relax and enjoy the day with the family.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

No Sewing Day


Another shot of my darling grandson. I like taking pictures of him and putting them on my computer -- I can get a fix easily that way! vbg

Today was spent cleaning house -- Thanksgiving clean (we're doing Thanksgiving this coming Sunday).
Bill even vacuumed the basement for me. I still need to dust down here and clean the bathroom and scrub the tile floors -- all jobs for tomorrow. I even hauled all the clutter that was in the dining room back upstairs to the extra bedroom that holds all my "extra" quilting stuff -- magazines, books, papers, etc.
And then I decided to make a batch of Walnut Balls and mix up a batch of Ginger cookies to bake tomorrow. Well, the Walnut Balls recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, 1/3 c. brown sugar, 2 c. flour, etc -- so I got the butter out, and the 1 cup and 1/3 cup dry measuring cups and all the other stuff. Put the butter and brown sugar in one large bowl and used the hand mixer to cream them together. Added vanilla and salt and when I was going to add the flour, realized that I used 1 cup of brown sugar, not 1/3 cup! So, decided I had enough extra ingredients to go ahead and triple the recipe -- but had to transer it to my "Heavy Duty" Kitchenaid stand mixer. And even it wasn't real happy with me by the time it came to add the chopped walnuts! Needless to say, I have over 6 dozen Walnut Balls baked and didn't bother mixing up the Ginger cookies -- maybe tomorrow if I have enough butter! vbg Probably would have had 8 or 9 dozen, but I was making them a bit larger rather than have it take all night! Somedays I shouldn't be allowed to play with sharp objects -- or cookie ingredients.

Gratitudes:
1. AJ and Briana -- what blessings they are.
2. Making a list and working away at it.
3. Accomplishing more than what was on the list.
4. Having all the ingredients on hand when I make a baking mistake!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Mental Health Day


I took a Mental Health Day yesterday (aka, Grandma Day!). Went up to get a quick shot of AJ -- I needed it!
The picture on the left is him putting on his backpack and "going to school"!

The second one is him taking a nap -- doesn't it look like he'd have a stiff neck sleeping on that Mickey Mouse pillow?! He loves his "big boy" bed.

And, in case you're wondering -- he has plenty of quilts from Grandma -- one is hanging on his wall -- just didn't get them in the pictures! vbg

Anyway -- that's my angel as of yesterday!




Sunday, November 12, 2006

Answers

Thanks for the compliments on Gratitude. I'm real happy with it and my plans are to quilt it and give it to Bill (DH) for Christmas -- after all, he's my biggest gratitude!

Updated pictures of AJ: I have some adorable pictures of AJ and Briana but cannot get my scanner to work worth anything today. Need to find the original cd and re-install, I think, but finding the cd is the key! vbg

The colors of the quilt are scrappy, with green borders and tan, not gold. I do have the dark gold in the scrappy parts. I've noticed the pictures on my pc come out really dark and hard to tell the colors, but the pictures on my laptop come out great! Guess I should use my laptop all the time!

Weeks' embroidery floss: the label says right on it that it is not colorfast and should not be washed. I used it in the punch needle projects and don't ever plan to wash them anyway. I do like the floss -- it gives such a nice subtle color change. It is expensive though -- around here it's about $2 a skein.

I haven't been able to get to everyone's blog lately, but I want you to know I think of you all and will try to catch up soon!

And thanks, everyone for all your thoughts and prayers. I feel really blessed with our blog family of quilters!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Gratitude is finished!

Well, at least the top, and my version -- I only did two plain borders, but I really like it! Thanks again Judy and Jeanne. I haven't figured out how I'm going to quilt it yet, but I hope to quilt it before Christmas. I have the binding made and probably have a backing big enough somewhere in the stash! Oh, and I pinned it to a quilt hanging on the wall, so it is not crooked -- just the way I pinned it! vbg


So that is what I did with my time today. Tomorrow I need to finish the applique block and get the borders on it.

Gratitudes:

1. Gratitude is finished and I like it -- that's a plus.

2. Steak for dinner tonight.

3. A whole day spent in the sewing room -- I needed this today.

4. No boxelder bugs crawling in the house today -- must have gotten a bit chilled last night!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Friday Night

Well, I didn't get any sewing done today at all, but I did get the house cleaned. I had only the upstairs vacuum to finish and was going to leave that for tomorrow, but told myself to "git 'er done!" So that frees up the weekend for quilting. I hope to finish Gratitude this weekend.

The cold isn't too bad now (thanks to Dayquil!), but I did call and cancel our attendance at a group dinner at a pizza place -- didn't want to pass my cold on. I'm glad I did because late this afternoon we got thunder storms with sleet and it will turn to snow later tonight. There's a winter driving advisory out now.

Have one funny for you: AJ, 2½ years old, moved to a junior bed this week. Last night he fell out of it. He cried for Mommy and she came and picked him up off the floor and put him back into bed. He stopped crying instantly and said "Tank you" and went right back to sleep! How precious is he?!

Gratitudes:
1. Thanks to God for a clean bill of health -- I wasn't worried, but it's always in the back of your mind, ya know?
2. Thanks for the cold, it kept us off the roads tonight -- God works in mysterious ways, huh?
3. Thanks for the energy to finish cleaning house -- I feel better when the house is clean.
4. Old Fashioned Potato Soup -- yummy and great on a night like tonight!
5. My grandkids - they are true blessings.

Short update

The biopsy was negative -- just a fibroid adenoma, which is a cyst that NEVER turns cancerous. I have to go back for another mammogram in 6 months.

The sneezing fit day turned into a rotten cold. Felt miserable yesterday, today I feel rotten! LOL

I hope to get a few things done today but probably not too quickly. I definitely want to find some time to work on the Hour a Day!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The blocks are finished



I was hoping to catch up today -- I did manage to get all the blocks finished, but today's part will have to wait til tomorrow. Have you ever had a day where your sneeze reflex has kicked into gear and won't stop? I'm having a day like that -- I used to have them more often, but haven't had one in a year or two. I spend all day sneezing, blowing my nose, sneezing, etc... a real pita. So, I feel like I have hay fever or something -- but I have had all the allergy tests and am not allergic to anything -- just my sneeze reflex has gone haywire!

Anyway -- so going to spend some time in the recliner relaxing and hope it stops. I'm too miserable to sew -- how bad is that?!

BTW -- the biopsy went fine yesterday -- very interesting to watch actually. We have to go in tomorrow morning to get the results -- and I'm still convinced it's just a benign cyst.

Note to those that have asked: The floss used for the Pineapple Punchneedle is by Weeks Dyeworks and is in fact overdyed embroidery floss. All of the colors are beautifully overdyed which gives a subtle color change in the pictures.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Hour 4 of the Hour a Day

I have finished all 12 of my blocks, because I won't be sewing tomorrow. I still need to square them all though. I really like the looks of the centers -- that's what sold me on this quilt -- love that scrappy stuff!

Gratitudes:
1. Another nice fall day -- good for sewing!
2. The election will be over tomorrow -- no more annoying phone calls and ads! (And yes, we do vote at every election).
3. Laundry is finished.
4. A nice vanilla scented candle.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Caught Up




I'm up to date on Gratitude. Even have all the squares cut for the centers. The red strip on the left is the fabric I'm using for the sashing blocks. Still looks a little dark in the picture, but is a tiny bit lighter - enough that you can see the print anyway!

I spent a little bit of time on my applique project, but not much. Tomorrow I'll be working on that during the Bears game and more. I haven't done any handquilting this week because I strained/sprained my underneath finger, so I'm trying to not use it and let it rest, but not having much success. Wrapped the finger today, which helped some -- we'll see.

I finished the punchneedle project yesterday and ironed Heat and Bond lite on the back to hold the stitches. I am going to frame this one and give as a gift this Christmas. I do like making them -- doesn't take much effort and very little thought -- my kind of project! Plus it's a good fill-in project when you don't feel like quilting or piecing, or appliqueing!



Gratitudes:
1. Had a late breakfast and no lunch, so early dinner of chili and cornbread -- it's a cold, damp day outside.
2. Time spent on quilt projects.
3. JR, my constant companion.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Today was a Sewing Day!



I don't have much to show for it -- but a good day anyway! I had decided I wasn't going to do "Gratitude", Judy and Jeanne's Hour a Day quilt because I have tons of ufo's I should be working on. But.... well, you know how it is. So today I made my hst's. Tomorrow I'll do part two and maybe part three. The "light" is a tan Kansas Troubles fabric, the "dark" is a green Kansas Troubles fabric. I think the sashing strips are going to be a red KT fabric, but I'll decide for sure when I get there!

I also hand appliqued today, so that project is not left out in the cold -- it'll be done by Christmas anyway!

I ordered some Christmas gifts from Penzeys.com on Tuesday and some stuff from Williams-Sonoma on Wednesday -- they both arrived today! I have no affiliation, of course, but their service is grand! I not only have all my shopping done, but everything has arrived! Now to wrap it all! I did order EQ6 upgrade for myself, but that won't ship til the end of November.

Gratitudes:

1. A sewing day

2. A nice fire in the kitchen fireplace

3. Broiled pork chops

4. A new Keith Urban cd

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Another No Sewing Day

This was another no-sewing day and a long one at that. The good news is I went to my second guild today and Paula Reid was the speaker -- very funny lady. She's the lady that is a friend of Alex Anderson's and has been on the show doing her "Fluff and Stuff" machine quilting (by regular sewing machine), and many other shows too. It was a fun afternoon.

The morning however, was not so fun. Had my regularly scheduled mammogram at 8:15 this morning (meaning I had to get up at 6 am and I don't do mornings well!). So, had the mammo -- go back to the waiting room to get results, get called again, need 6 more pictures in addition to the original 4 (I usually have to have 8 -- dense tissue) -- back to the waiting room, called again -- need an ultrasound of both -- have that done, wait in the ultrasound room while they read them, Radiologist comes in -- hey I finally got to meet the man that has read probably half of all my mammos and x-rays -- his name is on practically every bill listing a radiologist! LOL But, I digress. He shows me what they're looking at -- left side only (right side is probably nothing, so that will be checked next May) -- he called it an adenomyoma (I think), which is usually a benign cyst and in fact I had one removed many years ago from the same area. So, have to go in next Wednesday morning (another 8 am procedure), have an "ultrasound guided needle biopsy". Won't get the results til next Friday though. Anyway -- I'm not worried about this, or the least bit frightened, but I don't know why I have to have someone with me to drive me home -- it's only done with a local and I really don't use my breasts to drive the car! vbg
Anyway -- all of that took 2 hours, so had to rush around to finish my Christmas shopping -- which I did -- and met quilting friend for lunch before our guild meeting. All in all, not a bad day, but no sewing!

Gratitudes:
1. I'm grateful that our health system has figured out that having to come back 15 times for different tests is frightening and they now have it set up for the Radiologist to read and report while we are still there and they can set up the next test in the same place.
2. I am grateful that there is no history of breast cancer in my family.
3. I am grateful that the nurses, techs and radiologists all treat the patients with TLC and give us a straight answer right off the bat.
4. I am grateful that my Christmas shopping is done, done, done! Now to finish that applique project!
5. I am grateful that I froze hamburger as patties so I can throw them on the George Forman without much thought or effort! vbg

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A quick finish


A tea towel applique made from a kit I bought at our local Quilt Show. Took about 1/2 an hour start to finish! My kind of project.

Today was Bill's second shot in the retina. Then spent a few hours doing housekeeping chores. Needed to do a quick finish project just because. Next I need to do the checkbook balancing/computer work and then I'm going back up to spend some time appliqueing on the wall hanging.

Gratitudes:
1. Got the house cleaned so after tomorrow I can relax and quilt for a few days.
2. Being greeted by the dogs after our trip into town this morning -- nothing like a dog's greeting -- they make you feel like you've been gone a long time and they really missed you!
3. Getting my Christmas shopping list made out and knowing what I need to buy to finish it off.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Leaf Season is Finished!

I had to take the picture outside in order to get a closer idea of the colors, and I had to stand in the sun, so there's a bit of a glare in the upper left corner. I am happy to have this top done! I hate putting borders on, but the borders add to this quilt, so I suffered through. It's not that they are difficult, and I didn't have any problems with them, it's just the measuring, cutting, pinning, sewing, pressing twice for each border -- just takes time and is boring I guess! The binding is made and a note attached with the information that this was Judy's design for an hour a day quilt and the date I finished the top. Who knows when I'll finish the quilt -- I haven't even decided whether I'll hand or machine quilt it -- and I need to finish a couple of other projects before Christmas, so it'll be stuck in the ufo pile for awhile.

Iwant to get started pulling fabric for Gratitude, but I need to clear off the sewing tables first, so we'll see!

Gratitudes:
1. Breakfast out with Bill.
2. Leaf Season top is finished and I like it!
3. Hershey's Kisses

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Computer Problem Solved

Oh yeah -- solved the IE7 problem. When I first connect to the internet, I've been in the habit of hitting the web button on my keyboard and IE6 opens and then my isp connection screen comes up. When I do that now, IE7 opens and the isp connection screen comes on -- but IE7 wants to be in control. So, if I just click on the isp connection icon and then open IE7, it shuts off the connection just fine when I tell it to! Problem solved.

Indian Summer again

No pics today. But I have made some progress -- Leaf Season has it's first border on; I've almost finished another punchneedle project -- but ran out of charcoal thread, which I'll get tomorrow; my hand quilting class is moving along -- I am trying to break some old habits and establish new there, so today's practice was slower than yesterday's.
Just got back from a brisk walk with the dog -- it is absolutely beautiful out there today -- a true Indian Summer. I should have been taking down screens and washing windows, but I stayed in and watched the Bears game instead! Go Bears!

Tomorrow I have a dental appointment, then need to do some birthday/Christmas shopping while I'm in town, then back to finish laundry and hopefully get the screens down -- the windows will get washed on the outside or not -- depends on how fast I get the shopping done! And, I hope to put the second border on Leaf Season! I want to finish Leaf Season by Tuesday so I can start "Gratitudes" on Wednesday -- looks like a great design and will use up some scraps -- wtg Jeanne and Judy!

Gratitudes:
1. A beautiful autumn day
2. Leftovers for dinner and Bill won't complain (he never does!)
3. Making time for a walk today -- need to do that more often
4. Visits with the kids Friday and Saturday (and AJ is growing like a weed!)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Another Day

So this is the picture I couldn't get up last night! The color is off a bit because the dark in the alternate blocks is a deep red, not black or brown. Anyway -- I really like it and hopefully tomorrow will get the borders on.

Today we got our AJ fix! He'll be 3 in February and talks with just a little bit of a lisp -- I love to hear him talk! The custody thing with Briana, 8, has been settled out of court as of today! She lives with our daughter and son-in-law, who is her dad, and goes to her mother's every weekend. Now the kids get to have her one weekend a month during the school year and every weekend during the summer (the mother will get Mon-Thur in the summer). So, now we (the rest of the family) should be able to see Briana more often, too. Too many times we've had family get-togethers and Briana had to go to her mother's, so we missed seeing her and she us.

The computer thing: I need to move some things over to the notebook anyway that I've put off -- don't want to clutter it up! vbg The problem with the pc seems to have fixed itself now. I think just some gremlins because I updated the IE to the newest version (sometimes I think Microsoft is trying to run my computer without my input at all!). As far as dial-up -- yes, I hate it, but it's the price we have to pay to live out in the country. I refuse to pay big bucks for satellite connection; I'll wait til the phone company gets the right lines out here, or sometime in the future they will have wireless out here; or, eventually, we'll move closer to town!

I worked a couple hours on the applique project today and started another punchneedle project. I only have the background left on the punchneedle -- it goes pretty fast once you get the hang of it! I knew the kids were coming out late this afternoon, so didn't want to start the borders on the Leaf Season -- so will do those tomorrow (although, our son & daughter-in-law are coming out in the morning!).

Gratitudes:
1. The custody case was settled with a minimum of fuss and it's a win/win for all parties -- plus it'll really be good for Briana, and that was what it was all about.
2. AJ is such a treasure -- ya just want to hug on him all the time!
3. Spaghetti for dinner -- and a bath for AJ afterwards!
4. Market Day food -- the freezers are packed full.
5. Family

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hour a Day and More

It took a hour and 45 minutes today, but I have Leaf Season put together sans borders. I'm trying to upload a picture, but blogger is down for a scheduled outage, so we'll see!

Also spent a bit over an hour working on the hand applique. It's coming along, albeit slowly.
I am all ready for the next installment of my hand quilting class, which is the actual quilting, so I'll wait for class to start that. I did spend an hour working on a punch needle piece -- my first. The stitching is done, but I haven't figured out what I'm going to do with it yet! I am going to start another as a gift though, now that I finally got the rhythm of it going!

I'm having to move things from this computer to my laptop today as I think the internal modem is going out on this machine -- it won't disconnect the dialup when I tell it to -- it just clogs the phone line until I turn the computer off completely. Bad enough I can't get cable or dsl out here -- I sure don't need a temperamental modem!

Monday, October 23, 2006

One Hour Quilt and Stuff

I spent a couple of hours working on Leaf Season today -- managed to get 3 rows sewn together (the ones on the left), have another row stacked by the machine and the 3 rows on the right to do. The picture is real dark, so hopefully when I get it together I can find a place to take a better picture. I'm really liking the way it's coming out. Was going to try to get the blocks all done today, but kept getting interrupted with phone calls and such. Then I figured out I wouldn't have time the rest of the week to actually spend a day cleaning house, so I took a break and dusted and vacuumed the main floor. On the list for tomorrow is vacuum upstairs (I did dust up there today). And sometime between Tuesday and Wednesday evening I hope to get the bathrooms cleaned! Nothing like cleaning house piecemeal! I'd rather be quilting anyway!

Got our pictures back from our trip to DC. This is one view of the World War II Memorial -- it is absolutely beautiful - very impressive and a real tribute to our servicemen and women. Bill served in the Pacific theatre -- the Atlantic and Pacific are at opposite ends of the memorial.

Gratitudes:

1. I got to sew today even though I had to quit early to do laundry and housework.

2. We got the pictures back from Stephanie today -- they came out great. Plus we got a bonus pack of pictures of the grandkids carving pumpkins - how cute are they!

3. Catching up with dear friends and making a lunch date.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sunday

Whew! After spending the past 3 days helping out at the guild quilt show, I was definitely ready to spend the day in the sewing room!
I managed to tidy up some so I could spread out again! I also managed to get my piece all ready for my hand quilting class at QU.


This was a piece of hand-dyed fabric I bought at the International show in Chicago a few years back, incidentally from Nancy Chong's booth! (She's the instructor for this class at QU). I'm looking forward to hand quilting again.

I have finished the two blocks for Leaf Season - just need to put them up on the wall and arrange them for sewing together. Also have the next leaves/petals ready to applique onto the background for the Christmas present I'm making.

Didn't win the raffle quilt at the quilt show -- as usual! It was a nice show -- had about 250-300 quilted items. Ours is not a juried or judged show -- only people's choice winners. We also had a boutique and I managed to sell two of my very bright wall hangings and I was quite pleased to get them out of my house! We also had a vendors mall with 7 vendors! It was great. Yes -- I did buy stuff! I bought two hand towels and a small kit to applique a pumpkin on one of them -- it will be a gift -- the other is such a pretty deep pumpkin color that I'm keeping it for myself! I also bought a stack of 16 fat quarters -- all 30's fabrics! And, honestly, 30's fabrics are not my thing -- I'm folk art and dark fabrics, but I have seen so many great scrappy quilts made with 30's fabrics that I have to make one! I've washed and pressed them and as soon as I pick the pattern I'm going to do, I'm going to cut them all up to make a scrap quilt! It will probably end up being a kit, because I have other things I need to finish first, but I'm not putting them away until I cut them and put the pattern with them!

Gratitudes:

1. Bill took me out to dinner last night at the 5th Alarm.

2. Finally getting to sew today -- I've been so inspired by the show and vendors, and so tired afterwards that I was going a little stir crazy!

3. Meatloaf and acorn squash for dinner -- if I get off the computer and get it going!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Summer in Nantucket

This is the latest block for the bom I'm doing at the lqs -- the quilt is called Summer in Nantucket. I finally managed to put it together today. I also spent an hour on the Leaf Season quilt -- the alternate blocks are all put together. Next I need to hang some batting on the wall for my design wall and put all the blocks up and start sewing the rows together. Tomorrow I'll be at the quilt show working, so probably won't be sewing at all. Maybe Saturday, but for sure on Sunday!

We dropped our quilts off for the show today and brought the stuff in to sell at the boutique. I noticed a sewing machine sitting on one of the tables for sale -- and snagged it immediately! The previous owner bought it at a garage sale for her daughter, had it professionally cleaned and checked and then her daughter didn't want it! It's a Pfaff Hobby 4270. It didn't have a book with it, and I've already checked online and every manual imaginable is listed except for the Hobby 4270! vbg. It's mostly straightforward, but I would like to know if it needs oiling -- I don't really see anyplace to add oil, so it may not. I can always ask at the place it was serviced, but if anyone knows -- feel free to jump in! I'm going to keep it here, but I will eventually give it to my daughter -- when I get her hooked on quilting!

Gratitudes:
1. Being in the right place at the right time for the new sewing machine, and being able to pay for it right away -- it was a good price!
2. Time to sew this afternoon.
3. JR met us in the driveway this afternoon -- a dog is always happy to see you!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I'm discombobulated!

No pics today -- I've had one of those "I don't feel like doing anything days"!
I was all caught up on everyone's blog that I try to keep up with before we went to DC, but now I am way behind. We had breakfast out with friends this morning and then I gave myself permission to only clean bathrooms today (as opposed to cleaning the whole house). I did tidy up a few spots, but that was it. Got up too early, didn't sleep well and have been fighting a migraine all day -- one of those "it's just under the surface waiting to break free" kind! So, I finally took a nap this afternoon and now I think I feel almost human! vbg

Did manage to get everything ready to take to the quilt show setup day tomorrow. Unearthed my notebook with last Saturday's bom in it -- still haven't done that. Searched for my apron with our guild name on it -- found a plain one, but not the guild one (did I lend it to someone 3 years ago? I can't remember!). Did find my T-shirt with the guild name on, so that will do!
Just one of those discombobulated days!

So, I'm off to catch up with as many bloggers as I can.

Gratitudes:
1. Giving myself permission to just clean bathrooms -- I'll get to the dusting and vacuuming and mopping another day!
2. Breakfast with friends.
3. An afternoon nap in the recliner with the dog on my lap.
4. Dinner out with friends -- bonus no cooking day! vbg

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

One block closeup

This is just one block after I quilted and washed the quilt. I don't have a closeup of the whole quilt -- I'm definitely not a talented photographer! The pattern is called Sunny Days and was designed by the Piece O'Cake designers and is from their book, "Curl Up Quilts". Theirs was done in yellows -- which I really liked, but I think Briana will like pink better!

I managed to spend an hour and a half working on the applique today and another hour piecing the alternate block of Leaf Season -- I now have all the pieces into rows, to be made into 9-patches at the next sit-down.

I've decided that after I finish the applique project, I'm going to pull out one of my listed ufo's (as opposed to the tops I have finished since I made my list of ufo's!). My goal will be to finish a ufo a month -- working one hour a day like the other projects.

Gratitudes:
1. I got my new contact -- I can't tell you how wonderful it is to be able to see again! vbg I so much prefer wearing my contacts and reading glasses as opposed to the bifocals for emergencies!
2. Making time to sew today -- probably should have done something like clean house, but it was so much more enjoyable sewing!
3. A nice conversation at the dinner table.
4. JR is definitely feeling better.

Briana's Quilt

It's finished! Bound and labeled. I quilted an "x" in the ninepatch squares and did some nice meandering with a few hearts thrown in around the flowers and in the borders.

Da Bears: Thank you, Brian Urlacher, for revving up in the fourth quarter -- please explain to the offense how to do that! It was ugly, but we'll take the win!

Anyone in the neighborhood: Forreston's Country Crossroads Quilt Guild will be having it's quilt show "Autumn Splendor" at the Leaf River Community Center Friday and Saturday (until 2pm on Saturday) - Rte 72 in northern Illinois! (I'll be there working and hanging out both days - look for the old lady with white hair! lol)

Have to run errands today and hopefully can pick up my new contact -- I hate these bifocals!

Gratitudes:
1. The Bears won -- we'll take it any way we can get it!
2. Finally beginning to catch up on email.
3. Finishing another Christmas gift (Briana's quilt).
4. Getting silly with friends on the drive home from guild.

Monday, October 16, 2006

An Hour a Day

Well, blogger is not cooperating today, so will have to upload pictures of Briana's quilt some other day.
I did manage to spend an hour working on the applique project today, then about 20 minutes cutting the fabric and finding the batting for the hand quilting class and then a bit over an hour stitching the two-patches together for the alternate block on Leaf Season. What is the name of that block, anyway? I'll have to look that up one of these days.

Still need to put my BOM block together from Saturday (and yes, Dawn, it's one of the BOM from QGS). I'll post a picture when I get it together.

Working on laundry in between quilting today and now need to get ready to go to guild.
Have a good one!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

And Sew Again...












Believe it or not, the background fabric is all the same on my leaf blocks, but the only picture that actually comes close to the color is the light one in the previous post. Must be my camera needs recharging -- at least I hope that's the problem!

Today I finished making the leaf blocks for the Hour a Day quilt. I also finished the binding on Briana's quilt and it has been washed and dried. I'll try to get a picture tomorrow after the camera recharges. And...I washed and dried Shakespeare in the Park and sewed its label on in readiness for the quilt show next week.

I like this Hour a Day concept. I sewed for a couple hours on the leaf blocks today, but then worked on Briana's quilt (probably not a full hour), and maybe 20 minutes sewing on the label on the SP quilt. It's nice having 2 or 3 different projects going at once, different types of projects (piecing, applique, binding, label, etc), and in different stages of completion. Now that Briana's quilt is done, I'll start working more diligently on the applique project for a Christmas gift, while still piecing Leaf Season, and next week I'll be starting my hand quilting class, so I'll try to spend time each day on each project -- after the quilt show is over next Saturday, of course! I need to take my quilts in on Thursday, and I'll be working in the Boutique on Friday and helping out on Saturday and picking up the quilts after the show is over at 2pm. Plus we have regular guild tomorrow night to take care of last minute stuff. Looks like it's going to be a busy week!

Gratitudes:
1. JR is better today (after having to take him to the vet yesterday -- one of his vertebrae looks a bit inflamed, so he's on anti-inflammatories.)
2. Nice fire in the fireplace this morning -- it's rather cool here lately.
3. Sewing time this afternoon.
4. Neil Diamond, Anne Murray, Tim McGraw on the cd player today.

Friday, October 13, 2006

And Sew....




Today I managed to get all the hst's finished and put 8 leaf blocks together. The other 24 are waiting patiently. I also managed to sew the label on the one quilt for the quilt show and the label and half the binding is sewn down on Briana's quilt. Pretty good progess I think.

It was extremely windy outside today and a "neighbor" about a mile away and east of us had his barn burn to the ground, along with smoke damage to his house and another shed that burned. He had the barn full of equipment -- total loss. I ventured to the post office and bank this morning and the police department had the main roads blocked off to allow the various fire departments (Byron is a full-time department -- most of the neighboring towns are volunteer) through. I saw at least 3 different department tankers hauling water -- they had to drive at least a mile down the road to the water tower, and the hydrant across the street from the tower, and the hydrant at the main Byron fire department all were being used. We don't have a lot of fire hydrants available out in the country. The wind was blowing from the west to the east, so we were never in danger, but there are plenty of dry corn fields around here and it could have been even worse. The firemen did a wonderful job, I think.

Anyway -- tomorrow I have my LQS BOM and I hope to finish the binding on Briana's quilt. Might even get a couple more leaf blocks sewn....we'll see.

Gratitudes:

1. I'm grateful for the Byron fire department -- and all the rest of them. The ambulance service is part of the fire department, so I know first hand how wonderful those guys are because Bill has been rushed to the hospital a few times in years past!

2. Sewing time.

3. Wonderful, warm fire in the kitchen fireplace today.

4. I think JR is feeling better (he's been a little ill since coming home from the kennel -- not sure if it was their food or what).

5. Fresh baked bread.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Sew...

Got back from DC on Sunday, exhausted. Had a great time and even though it was rainy and cold, we managed to see the Memorials, the White House, and even the President landing in one of the three helicopters they scramble for the purpose. Ate way too much good food and am consequently back on my diet! vbg I took my 35mm camera, so pictures will be awhile.
Since then, I have unpacked, done all the laundry, ironed a ton of shirts for 2 people and a few pairs of slacks, ran errands and cleaned the house that hadn't been cleaned for 2 weeks! You'd think we'd been gone a month instead of 5 days!

Anyway... finally got to sew today and believe me, I've been itchin' to stitch for more than a week! I finished quilting Briana's quilt today, put the binding on by machine and pinned the label on, so just need to do the hand stitching on the binding and label.


Spent my hour on the One Hour A Day Quilt doing 32 stem blocks -- took the whole hour, but they are stitched and trimmed. Will start making the leaf blocks tomorrow.

Also fixed a rip in a seam of a jacket (took more time to set the machine up with the right thread than it did to sew it!).

And then I spent the last 45 minutes before dinner appliqueing two leaves onto my applique project and 5 minutes while fixing dinner pinning another label on a quilt that I'm putting in our guild show next weekend. (And yes, should have put the label on a long time ago!). I made three labels on the computer yesterday and still have one to pin and stitch on my Shakespeare in the Park quilt which will also go into our guild show.

All in all -- felt really good to be stitching today!

Gratitudes:
1. The quilting on Briana's quilt went really well today (on the Bernina).
2. Leftover Taco Soup for dinner.
3. Had a hard freeze last night and snow on the ground this morning -- glad the garden is officially done!
4. Staying in to sew all day.
5. Nice phone conversation with Steph.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Quick Answers

Everyone keeps asking about the pumpkin in the previous picture! That pumpkin was actually given to me by a friend that owned a grocery store. They sold them in there one fall and she had a couple leftover! I did not make it. Would be relatively easy though: It's just a crazy quilt of fall/pumpkin fabrics stuffed with polyfil. Must be directions somewhere on the net to make fabric pumpkins!

Heading to DC early in the morning, so spending today trying to remember all that I need to do and pack before then. Have to take the dogs to the kennel -- which I absolutely hate doing -- it's like leaving your newborn with a babysitter and going back to work -- really tough!

Have a good weekend!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Another Fall Quilt



Just doing things like laundry and ironing today. Making lists, making plans, finding papers we need to take dogs to kennel -- all those various and sundry items to be taken care of before a trip. We'll only be gone a few days, but it seems like a major undertaking sometimes! Tomorrow I get my haircut and run errands.

Quiltwise: Today I cut out and pinned a few leaves and buds for the next part of the applique project I'm working on. I also quilted 3 applique blocks on Briana's quilt. Broke a needle because I was attacked by box elder bugs and lady bugs -- boy have they come out in force in the last few days. Didn't start the Hour a Day quilt -- it'll have to wait til we get back from the Navy reunion. I need to finish Briana's quilt to free up the machine!

Last night while watching the Bears beat the Seahawks...GO BEARS!... I got out the needlepunch instructions and started my first one. It really goes fast and I like it -- I think it'll be a great pick up and go type project (well, pick up and sit and watch tv anyway).

Anyway -- have a good week everyone -- see you next week!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

A New Month

October has arrived and with it the summer weather is coming back - go figure! Time to review last month's accomplishments and decide on this month's goals.

Last month's accomplishments: I did manage to finish the One Hour a Day quilt - it's bound and waiting to become a Christmas gift. I also finished the Thangles BOM I was doing for the year -- it is also bound and waiting to become a gift. I got Briana's top together and it is pin basted and ready for quilting. Guess that's about it for September -- wasn't real productive quilt-wise, but sometimes ya just gotta take some time off.

New goals:
1. Quilt, bind and label Briana's quilt.
2. Finish the applique on the wallhanging I'm working on as a Christmas gift. I have the pieces cut for the piecing part, and have started appliqueing the stems.
3. Get the October One Hour a Day quilt top put together. I have the pieces all cut and one block pieced.

That'll probably be it for October -- we will be gone the first week for a Navy reunion; I'm doing a new bom from a lqs, so will have one meeting and one block to make for that; our guild quilt show will be the 20-21, so will be working at the show and also getting a couple of quilts ready to show, plus I want to sell a couple of my "shop samples" in the boutique, so need to take care of that stuff. In addition to my goals, I want to try to get in some hand quilting at least 3 days a week, so that should pretty much fill up the month. I see no point in over-extending my goals and stressing myself out! And, I'll need to take screens down and wash windows if we manage to get some Indian Summer weather -- after we get back!

Gratitudes:
1. A visit with Steve & Kim yesterday afternoon.

2. Kim loves her new administration job in the new school district.
3. Walnuts falling from the trees - it's like playing dodgeball when the wind blows.
4. The garden is pretty much done.
5. A quiet Sunday afternoon to sit and quilt.

Friday, September 29, 2006

More Fall Stuff



This was an old Country Threads pattern -- back in the early nineties, anyway. I forgot to reverse the pattern when tracing the turkey, so he faces the wrong way (from the pattern), but that's okay with me -- I like him anyway!

I've been sewing the past few days, but accomplishing absolutely nothing! I got Briana's quilt loaded on the hq and started to quilt it yesterday, but had nothing but problems. Took it off the hq and am in the process of ripping stitches. I'll quilt it on the Bernina instead. I was quite frustrated yesterday, but it gave me time to think while frog stitching. It's time I got back to doing some hand quilting. I want to finish Briana's quilt on the machine, and I'd like to finish one more thing for a Christmas gift and may do that on the machine, too, but after that I don't have anything with a time limit, so we'll see.

I did figure out this morning that the problem with the hq was operator error -- probably that I didn't change the tension on the machine and the last thing I did on it was work with nylon thread -- big difference in the tension -- duh!

Today I received the new issue of Quilt University's newsletter and Nancy Chong is offering a hand quilting class. I have taken all of Nancy's other classes at QU -- she's a wonderful teacher. And, even though I've been hand quilting since I began quilting, I signed up for her class anyway. It just seemed like Providence that I'd been thinking about getting back to hand quilting and then got the newsletter the next day!

I finally joined the Stashbuster list and have been lurking, of course. But, someone mentioned the Primitive Pieces by Lynda site and I adore it. It is so amazing to me that there are all these sites online that I've never seen before and yet they've been out there for a long time. And, I've been online since '95. While I was wandering around this site, I noticed our own Dawn had a quilt or two shown on the site.

Gratitudes:

1. The internet -- what a wonderful invention.

2. Sharing by quilters -- we share patterns, sites, fabric, and ourselves.

3. A fire in the kitchen fireplace again today.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Autumn is here



I haven't sewn all week, so nothing new to show here. These were lottery blocks I won at guild a few years ago. Makes a cute little table runner I think.

I did manage to do some applique today during the Bears game (GO BEARS!). I also refolded a lot of fabric -- I have one deep shelf in my cabinet done -- 5 large stacks in the back and 4 smaller stacks in the front of the shelf -- still working out the details of how I'm going to arrange them. I also have a rubbermaid container about 3/4 full of scraps -- these are anything smaller than a fat eighth, or thereabouts. Some pieces have had angles cut out of them, and some have had applique pieces cut from them. I was getting pretty tired of the old scraps and strips, so these will breathe new life into my scrap quilts, hopefully.

And, I managed to cut the background fabric for the leaf blocks for the One Hour Quilt.

All in all, a pretty good day I think.

Gratitudes:

  • Meatloaf and acorn squash for dinner.
  • Bears won!
  • A nice, quiet afternoon.
  • Playing with fabric and rediscovering what I have stashed in the stash!

Aaaah...First Fire of the Season



Well, technically it was the last fire of summer because it was Friday morning -- but who cares?! It was wonderful. 'Course, it's warmed up since then, so we haven't had another one yet, but by the end of the week we should be able to again. This was the smartest thing we've ever done -- had a fireplace built into the eating area of the kitchen -- and if I ever build another house, I'd do it again!

Spent the last two days babysitting AJ (and he completely wore us out), so got nothing else done. Today I hope to spend an hour folding fabric -- that has become a new project for me -- re-organizing my fabric cabinets and re-folding the fabric. Then, maybe work an hour on the hour a day quilt (I know -- it's still September, but we're going to be out of town for a week in October, so I need to work on it now - how's that for an excuse?) Oh, and I also want to spend some time hand appliqueing -- probably during the Bears game today.

Gratitudes:
1. The kitchen fireplace.

2. AJ - what a treasure a 2½ year old is. What a blast it is to watch his mind work.

3. Patience and humor.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Quick Update



Looks like blogger is planning an outage, so I'll see if I can get this published. This is the first block for the new 1 hour quilt. The background is the fabric I had and the dark is the fabric I bought to go with it. Color is not very good in the picture, but hopefully you can see that the red/rust matches the cherries or whatever those things are in the background!

Got lots going on this week and have to pick up AJ for two day stay tomorrow, so probably won't be able to get back til Sunday night! Have a good weekend everyone!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Confession Time

I blew my self-imposed fabric budget out of the water today! If you'll recall, I decided to give myself a $50 a month fabric budget. I spent half of it 9 days ago on 3 yards of fabric. I spent the other half and another two months + worth on fabric today! It's all Judy's fault though. See, she posted a picture of October's One Hour a Day Quilt. I like it. I pulled piles and piles (indeed) of fabric from the shelves to make it. I found a fabric I've had for a few (probably 5) years and decided it would be perfect for the background of the alternate blocks. Then I found a fabric for the dark in that block -- but....I don't have enough of that fabric. I do have plenty of fall fabrics for the leaves, and some backgrounds for them, but really, a background that would blend with the other background fabric would be much better -- I have some, but not enough. So, I spent a couple of hours this morning refolding fabrics and re-stacking them neatly, but have not put any of them away yet. The more I thought about it and the more I fondled the fabrics, the more I knew I needed a quilt store trip. (This is going to be a busy week where I won't be able to do much sewing at all -- so I needed the quilt store trip as a mental health day, also!)
If you're still with me...called my quilt buddy, we decided to blow off quilt guild tonight and just spend the afternoon at the quilt store instead. Oh....it was heaven! My favorite store -- Sew Many Antiques in Pearl City, IL -- the owner was working there today, so that was a plus! I found both the dark fabric I needed and another background that goes really well -- which means I'm really going to doubly enjoy doing the Hour a Day Quilt.
Also found two other fabrics that I had to buy! This because, as I was folding my fabrics this morning I had an epiphany! I have tons of fabrics, but more than half are half yards, fat quarters and smaller. I really don't have lots of yardage fabrics any more. So, now when I buy, it'll be back to buying two or three yards of one fabric instead of 10 or 20 fat quarters! I just need a well-rounded stash, that's all! And really, I'm going to make most of the quilt with stash fabrics!
That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Gratitudes:
1. A wonderful quilters' mental health day today.
2. My stash and my stash enhancement.
3. No complaints about my thrown-together quick dinner.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Sunny Days - Top is finished

The circles didn't take as long as I thought. I finished 7 of them last night and after visiting with Steph and AJ this morning, I came home and did the last 5. The first picture is from the bottom -- I laid it on our queen size bed. The second picture is from the left side showing the top circles.

I'm real pleased with it -- hope Briana loves it. I need to see what I have for a backing -- might have to go shopping for one if I can't find something appropriate. I'd like to start quilting it in another week or so.

Time to start on the next one! I'm waiting to see what Judy is going to come up with for the October 1 hour quilt, too.

Gratitudes:
1. Seeing Steph and AJ today. AJ changes every time we see him now.
2. Running into Deb at the mall while AJ was riding on one of the truck rides.
3. Stopping at the Farmers Market today -- farm fresh green beans and decorative gourds.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Sunny Day...

It seems its been cloudy and raining for a week, but today we finally had a sunny day. It's a good thing I got to sew most of the Labor Day weekend, because it's been hard to find time this week. I did manage to piece the Sunny Days top together on Monday, after chores and between laundry loads. And that was it til today. Today I got the borders put together and all but the last top border on the quilt. The last border needs 12 circles appliqued on it and I had to wait till the rest was done so that I knew what size to cut the border. I managed to applique four of them today and hopefully I'll get a few more done tonight. I won't be able to finish the top until Sunday anyway -- have the second baby shower to go to Saturday and tomorrow Steph and AJ are coming down for a visit. We haven't seen them for over a month and I just know that little boy has grown leaps and bounds. Anyway -- not taking a picture of the quilt til the top is at least finished, so you'all will just have to wait!

I did put out my fall quilts and a few decorations today, so I'll share one with you here:

Gratitudes:
1. Bill was able to get back outside and work today -- he doesn't do well cooped up in the house!
2. Fall is in the air.
3. Blogger friends.

Monday, September 11, 2006

God Bless America

September 11, 2001.
Everyone remembers what they were doing and where they were when they first heard the news. I never have the tv or radio on in the morning, so it was a typical Tuesday morning for me -- getting ready to run errands. As soon as I got into the car and headed to Oregon, IL to pick up the dog's tags, I heard the news on the radio. I listened in disbelief all the way there and all the way back. I stopped at the grocery store in Byron and saw the first tower collapse on the tv I didn't even know they had in there. I came right home and told Bill. I remember thinking when I first saw the tower collapse the line spoken by, I believe the Japanese admiral involved with the attack on Pearl Harbor: " we have awakened a sleeping giant."
I was proud of America in the weeks and months following -- all the flags that people started flying. We have always flown the flag -- every day. And where are the flags now?
Why are they making movies about the terrorist attacks? I don't want to see what some producer/director/writer "thinks" happened. I don't want to see some biased account of the events. We've already lived through it. I don't want to hear whose fault it was -- it was the terrorists' fault.
If all the information that flows into the intelligence agencies came to your computer, would you have figured out ahead of time what was going to happen? When you first heard or saw the attack, what did you do? Did you run into those buildings to help those people? Most everyone was in shock -- plain and simple. There is no blame to spread -- we must make our country safer ourselves -- we can't leave it for others to do for us. We must follow the rules at the airports, we must be aware of everything that goes on around us, we must be vigilant at all times, we must be aware that we are not loved by everyone -- there are those that hate us for whatever insane reason they have and the only thing we can do about it is be aware and be ready. And we must never forget.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

#14...

Block #14 is finished as of last night:

And, block #15 is finished as of today -- I finished it while watching the Bears whup the Packers! Go Bears! I also finally made the rest of the hst's today, so sometime later this week I should be able to trim and square up the blocks and start putting the top together. I will still need to applique 12 circles onto a border for this quilt, but I think I'll do that after I get the rest put together.
Yesterday we had our BOM class at the lqs and of course spent some time checking out what is new in the shop. This fabric jumped right off the shelf into my arms and screamed at me to take it home. How can you resist something like that? It is a beautiful green from the Bound to the Prairie line of Kansas Troubles from Moda.

In doing Judy's One Hour Quilt last month, I realized that even though I have a ton of stash, most of them are not much more than 1 yard pieces, except for the backings fabrics I buy. And sometimes you just want to put a nice wide border on that is not pieced. So, I bought 3 yards of this fabric.

That was the first purchase I made in September and it was extremely hard not to buy 3 yards each of about 4 more fabrics, but I held my resolve and only bought this one - at 15% off because it was class day -- so I still have $25.53 left in my September quilt budget! Yay me!

Gratitudes:

1. It was a gray, damp, cold and windy day here -- perfect for opening day of football, along with a Chicago Bears win, and chili for dinner!

2. Finishing the applique flowers.