Sunday, July 30, 2006

Road Trip and Stash Challenge

Whew! This has been a basic no-quilt weekend! Did have a BOM session at the lqs on Saturday morning, and did buy 11 fat quarters at 15% off for the baby quilts and Briana's quilt, but didn't get to touch them since. Jackie, my quilting buddy, and I went to Mary's Market (local cafe/sandwich shop), for a great salad afterwards, then went on an adventure to Steph's house in Wisconsin. (I say adventure because we took a new to us route and found that even though it added about 10 minutes to the normally hour trip, it was such a peaceful drive -- no I-90 backup at the toll booth, no crazy drivers, just a nice 2-lane trip with little traffic.) Anyway -- picked up dear 2½ yr old grandson, AJ and brought him home with us. We did come back I-90, but the traffic going into Illinois from WI isn't bad -- it's everyone trying to escape Illinois that is crazy! vbg
Dropped Jackie off at home, took AJ home, then went to dinner with "Papa" and AJ at a nice "hip" restaurant in Byron that is owned by current Byron Fire personnel and is housed in the original firehouse of Byron and of course is decorated with fire hoses, fire hats and coats, pictures of trucks, dalmation dogs on the bar separating the eating area from the bar area, etc. Eye candy for AJ, I can tell you! The name of the place, btw, is The Fifth Alarm! Got home, settled down for an hour of playing, then bath time and by 8:30, AJ was in bed without a peep and slept til 7:30 this morning! I, on the other hand did not sleep much so took a nap this afternoon after Mom came and took AJ home!

Now, if you're still with me -- here's the FQ's I bought yesterday:

And, I just read Vicky's August challenge to us Stashers and have decided to accept the challenge. I hope to get by with my stash now for this next month and not add to it in any way. I think I have enough brights/kids prints to finish two baby quilts and probably Briana's twin quilt and I certainly don't need any other fabric. I am seriously thinking of picking up some punch needle stuff and trying my hand at that though!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Just a quick note

to Linda J: The puppy came from a book called "Critters, Dancin' in the Moonlight" by Brandywine Design, ©2002. I should have put that on the original post, but unless I have the book in front of me, I can never remember the name or the designer!

I'm off to meet friends for lunch, then run a few errands, back home, and then meet different friends for dinner. My, eat, eat!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A cute little puppy dog

I mailed this little block last week to a young mother who just had her 3rd baby -- a boy. She's on a couple of the quilting lists I'm on and some of us made a block for her to put into a quilt for her new baby. It was just a little fun 6½" block and only took a couple of hours to make, from finding the pattern to embroidering the features. Nice to take a break every now and then and do something just for fun.

Today I managed to get the 16 patch together and decided to applique some pink hearts and blue or yellow stars and call it a quilt top. I'll back it with baby flannel and should have it finished next week. Baby quilt #1 done! I also made some prairie point windmills for baby quilt #2. This will be a quilt from PS I love you 2 book by the Possibilities ladies (these senior moments are really annoying!). I'm going to make the backgrounds light blue and the windmills will be brights -- blues, greens, purples, yellows, etc. I've made a couple of these quilts and they are labor intensive, but they look like it too, so very impressive. This one will be a crib size, which is larger than I usually make. I'll take some pictures when I get a few blocks done.

I hope to get a couple of the applique blocks ready for Briana's twin quilt tomorrow so I have something to work on at night. Then when I have Baby quilt #2 finished I can work on hers til it's done. Planning, all takes planning!


1. I talked to Steve on the phone today...a very nice conversation. (It's nice when your kids call you!)

2. Getting my "to do" list done and everything crossed off.

3. Spending less time on the computer, but enjoying it more (smile).

4. It's too hot and humid to work in the yard, so I'm "forced" to play in the sewing room.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


No pics today, but I have been productive!
I managed to wash, dry and iron the fabric I bought yesterday. And then I cut it all up. So far, I have cut all the fabrics for the Christmas present wallhanging I'm planning, most of the fabrics for the baby quilt that needs to be done by Sept 15 for the baby shower (I need to pick up a few bright FQ's on Saturday when I can get them for 15% off!), most of the fabrics for Briana's Christmas present -- a twin size quilt, (see above on the FQ's!).
Then, I finished sewing down the binding on Tulip Farm and decided to unsew the borders that I don't like and redo them -- the middle of the quilt is fine, but the borders are not done well and I can do better and I like the quilt so I will fix it!
Then I spent the rest of the afternoon tracing templates for two of the above projects which have some and a lot of applique on them.

Then I walked out into the wet, hot air and got the mail out of the box - whew, it is humid! And, in the mail was an invitation to great nephew's baby shower/picnic. Two cousins (nephew and his cousin) are due to have baby girls on the same day in September, so the picnic will be a double family picnic and shower -- it'll be great fun, but now I need to finish the 16-patch quilt I started this week, so I'll have to decide what to put on the front and pick up any fabric for that and the flannel backing on Saturday, too.
BTW - Saturday is the meeting for my BOM at the same shop Dawn just got back from their annual Farm Fest. On meeting days we get a discount on fabrics -- I think it's 15%, but it could be only 10% -- either way, a discount is a discount and I'm waiting to buy the fabrics I will need until then!

So, that pretty much is my day in a nutshell!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sunflowers Revisited

I finally picked up the old sunflower ufo tablerunner, quilted it and finished sewing the binding down last night while watching the last 4 episodes of "24" - the first season. Borrowed the DVD's from Stephanie and now am hooked! Love that Keifer Sutherland -- he's as good an actor as his father. Anyway -- another quilt for the gift box and another ufo bites the dust.

I also finished quilting Tulip Farm on the handiquilter yesterday -- am not happy at all with the quilting I did, but time to put it to bed. I squared up and sewed the binding on today -- hopefully will get it stitched down this week. I still like the quilt and hopefully the quilting won't show too much :-}! I'm keeping it anyway.

It feels good to get back in the sewing room and actually do something besides hand applique. Although, I picked out two patterns I want to make for Christmas presents and they both have applique on them (vbg). I cut some fabrics for them today, but will need to buy some more -- one will be a twin size quilt for my DGD and of course, it'll have to be pink and I don't have enough suitable fabrics in pink.

This afternoon I pulled out a bunch of two-patches I had made extras of when throwing together a baby quilt last year. I mindlessly stitched them into 16 patches and will stitch them together and make another baby quilt -- not totally designed yet, no less! These are all lights/pastels and 2½"squares. I have set the 16 patches 4 by 4 and will add borders to bring it to 36" - 40", but I want to add something to the top -- maybe a quick applique of a duck or something. This will be a quilt for my great nephew's new baby girl due in September.
Then I need to decide what quilt to make for my best friend's son's baby boy due in October/November. And then I have another one to make for my son's best friend's new baby due November 1 -- but I can't remember whether it's a girl or a boy. We'll see. Lots of baby quilts to make and I really want to start and finish the twin bed quilt for Briana for Christmas.

1. Fresh green beans from the garden for dinner tonight.
2. Getting something accomplished in the sewing room.
3. Having breakfast with my brother and sister in law yesterday.
4. My daylilies are breathtaking this year -- it's been a good year.
5. Catching up with friends.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hi Ann!

Had guild meeting last night and a friend told me she reads my blog all the time, but never sees herself mentioned at all. I told her I never see any comments from her either! So, here we are -- Hi Ann! I signed up for a workshop Ann is giving next month -- wool penny rugs. I'm looking forward to it as a change of pace from quilting.

Thanks for all the great comments on my Double 4patch quilt. I do like it, but it'll have to wait it's turn in the quilting que. Oh -- and I revamped the web page (hopefully, correctly) that I posted the directions for the Double 4 Patch on:

On the way to guild yesterday, we stopped at one of my favorite quilt shops (it's not actually on the way, but it's generally in that direction, and then another 30 minutes beyond! vbg). I confess I bought some fabric -- about 15 yards altogether -- all $2 a yard! Can you say, great backing fabric, boys and girls?! This shop is called Sew Many Antiques and is in Pearl City, IL. Jill and Vicky carry all my favorite fabrics -- Moda - the Kansas Troubles line, Sandy Gervais' lines -- all the warm country colors I love. So, I think I do well when I only buy backing fabrics.
And I always come away from the store inspired to go home and quilt.

Today is errand running day, so I best get to it. 'Bye, Ann!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Finished is better than perfect, right?

The borders are on. I'm not real happy with the spacing of the top border, but I'm so sick of this quilt, I'm glad the top is done. vbg It is definitely going into the ufo pile, because 1. I am sick of it, 2. I may go back and fix the borders before I quilt it and 3. I don't have a clue how I'm going to quilt it right now. I actually do like the quilt with the appliqued borders, but maybe I'll love it if I leave it awhile. (;-)


1. The Double 4 Patch top is done!

2. As of tomorrow, I have been happily married to the best guy in the world for 25 years. I know he's the best, because I was married to the worst the first time and for 10 years. Apples and Oranges.

3. It's been unbearably hot and humid here (and a lot of places in the US), so I'm really glad I can spend the whole day in the AC, quilting!

Friday, July 14, 2006

A little bit of quilting

I managed to finish block #3 of the oak leaf quilt last night. I spent most of yesterday eating -- well, that's what it felt like anyway! Met friends for breakfast, then met Steph and AJ at the mall, so after letting AJ play in the play area awhile, we had to go eat lunch, of course. Did a little shopping and back to the play area. By the time they went home and I headed to Sam's and the vet's, I was exhausted. (Oh, and the vet's bill was $392 -- I just about dropped my teeth. That was for heartworm pills for two dogs for 12 months each, 6 months worth of phenobarbital for JR, and an $80 charge to draw blood and test it for levels of phenobarb.) Guess who won't be buying fabric this month. vbg

Today after cleaning the house, I pulled the beets from the garden (mind you -- there are only two of us and we didn't plant many beets or anything else -- still it took me 2½ hours to cook them and freeze 8 quarts and make a batch of Swedish Pickled Beets and clean up the rather large mess I made of my kitchen!) This was all time I had planned to spend sewing today -- I hate how having to do a few things cuts into my sewing time! It never cuts into cleaning time. vbg

Anyway -- did manage to applique 4 flowers down on the dbl 4 patch borders and have the rest on one border pinned to sew down tonight. I'm not going to start another Oak Leaf block til these borders are finished and on the quilt -- hopefully by the end of the weekend.


1. I'm grateful we didn't plant any more beets than we did!

2. I'm grateful JR isn't having any more seizures, but I sure think the prescription bill for dogs is outrageous.

3. It was wonderful to play with AJ yesterday. He is such a card.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Wednesday Afternoon

I took a break from appliqueing the borders on the double four patch and instead put together my buck-a-block block. We have one more block to go, but I found out when I picked up this last block that most of the quilters have already done all the blocks -- they just looked at the final block and put it together without the directions -- we have plenty of strips leftover anyway. I thought this was somehow cheating -- I don't know, kinda like defeating the whole purpose of a block of the month! But, I decided I might as well join the cheaters! vbg. I made two blocks today and put them together with the 9 blocks I already had together and the one block that was waiting. I had the sashing ready to go and the borders and binding fabric already cut, so it was a simple job of putting it all together. The first picture shows the finished top -- it's about 40 x 50. The second picture is a closeup of the fabrics -- I love the border print! Now all I need to do is quilt it before Christmas and I'll have a new Christmas quilt to decorate with.

I also cut out the rest of the flowers to applique to the last two borders on the Double four patch when I finished the Buck a Block top.

Took JR to the vet yesterday -- he's fine and will continue on the phenobarbital without any changes. So, tomorrow I get to pick up six months supply of pheno and a years supply for both dogs of heartworm meds -- the bill will be in excess of $250 I'm sure.

We're meeting friends for dinner tonight (our usual Wednesday night gig!). Tomorrow we're meeting some other friends for breakfast, and then Bill will head home to mow while I go on to meet Stephanie and AJ at the mall. She's back to work this week and tomorrow is her day off. I'll have to give up a day of quilting, but family is worth it, don'tcha think?!

1. Air Conditioning (it's heading back up to the 90's this week and Humid!
2. Filling up the calendar with friends and family.
3. My Bernina -- it's so nice to just sit and sew and I know I can count on her to be ready when I am!
4. Accomplishing something in the sewing room and tidying up after myself afterwards.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Still plugging away

on the hand appliqued borders for the double four-patch. Have almost reached the point that I'm real tired of the quilt, but trying to finish the borders anyway!
Also working on another oak leaf block in the evenings.
I do have a Buck a Block block to put together, so maybe I'll get that done today. Most of the day has been wasted -- need to take JR to the vet this afternoon for a check up to see how he's doing on the phenobarbital he's been on for a month and a half. I'd like it a lot if she'd cut him back to one pill a day, although we've done pretty good remembering both.

Not much else going on around the ole homestead -- it's a rainy, gloomy day that would be perfect for quilting -- guess I should go up and do a little stitchin'!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I have too many projects!

At least too many going on at one time. This is the second oak leaf block. I finished this one last night. Today I prepared block #3 -- it's just so handy to have to work on in front of the tv with JR in my lap.

During the day today, I did some more quilting with the Handiquilter on Tulip Farm (I spend most of my time dreaming about how much easier it would be if I had a real longarm machine!) Then, when I'd had enough of that, I went up and worked on the applique borders for the double four patch. I now have both the side borders on and have the top and bottom borders cut. I also got the vines ready to be appliqued down.

I also have two other applique projects I'd like to work on, but need to finish one or two before I start. Sew many projects, sew little time! Saturday I'll pick up my latest Buck A Block block and then go to a quilt show in Byron (big time Byronfest this weekend!). Then in the afternoon, have to go to DS & DDIL's 30th Wedding Anniversary Bash -- how 'bout that -- our kids have been married 5 years longer than we have! vbg


1. Steph's doing well - even is allowed to go back to work on Sunday (she works retail).

2. We've had some beautiful summer days this past week. I love watching my flowers bloom!

3. Lunch with Deb yesterday.

4. Phone conversation with my quilting friend today.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Independence Day!

This was just a quick challenge a few years ago to make a patriotic quilt using up some scraps from a different quilt.

No - we don't use the binoculars to spy on our neighbors! vbg We live in the country -- every now and then we can see a few deer across the road and way back towards the woods, plus we can't always see the flag on the mailbox to tell whether the mail is here or not! It's quite annoying to walk all the way out to the mailbox and back to the house to turn around and have the mail truck go by!

I haven't done my monthly update for June: I don't think I finished any ufo's last month at all. Shame on me. Will have to get busy! I bought fabric -- but most of it was backgrounds. I did enroll in a BOM at my lqs, but it's a $5 BOM, so if I manage to keep up, the quilt will only cost me $5 plus use my stash!


1. I'm grateful for our freedoms in the US -- I was just thinking about this yesterday -- I believe God put us on this planet with the intention of us being free. His are the only rules we need to live by.

2. Stephanie is resting and healing.

3. My hollyhocks are blooming along with the daisies, coneflowers and lilies -- what a riot of color.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Home again, home again, jiggedy jog

You'all didn't know it, but I was out of town for three days last week.
DD, Stephanie, decided that she had reached maximum pain level and went to the ER Tuesday night (after working all day, no less). Diagnosis: Inflammed gall bladder with large gallstone stuck. Cure: Surgery to remove said offending organ which happened Wednesday at 3 pm. I went up early Wednesday morning, spent the day at the hospital with Steph and her DH, Aaron. Then followed Aaron to his sister's to pick up AJ and then their home. Spent Wednesday & Thursday night. Steph came home Thursday morning. Aaron had to go to work, so I had the tough job of taking care of a 2-1/2 year old grandson. He understands owie, but not that he couldn't climb into Mommy's lap. We had a grand time anyway. As of today, Steph is feeling much better, even stretching out the time between vicodin tablets. She'll go back to the doctor on Wednesday, hopefully to get released to go back to work. Medicine is truly amazing nowadays.

Here's my contribution for the upcoming Fourth of July Celebration. This little quilt was a Thimbleberries pattern that appeared in a magazine back in the early/mid 90's. I made it in one day -- just loved it. Been planning to make another sometime but never got around to it.

Finn has a patriotic picture on her blog of a little boy and dog waving flags. I was talking to Stephanie yesterday afternoon and she was telling me about the parade yesterday morning in their little town in WI. AJ was loving the police cars and fire trucks, sirens and lights flashing, and all the candy that he and his sister and her friend got to chase after. And then the color guard came by (I'm assuming it was veterans, possibly of Viet Nam, Korea and WWII because she said it was "older guys" (vbg) and she's 30, so it's all relative, don'tcha know!). Anyway, Aaron has been teaching AJ how to salute and when the color guard came by, he saluted them and they actually stopped in front of him and turned and saluted him back! How reminiscent of John-John can you get? And, of course, no video camera because Aaron had to be in charge of 3 kids and make sure Steph was comfortable, so he forgot it! Oh well -- I'm proud my kids are raising proud Americans.


1. Stephanie is on the mend -- I hate when my kids are ill.
2. I'm grateful for the bond AJ and I have. My daughter missed out on having a grandmother close to her, because my mom's Alzheimer's was fairly advanced by the time Steph was 3.
3. We had dinner with old friends on Friday night -- they called out of the blue on Tuesday. Really nice to get together. I'm not the only one that wants to stay in touch with old friends and family.
4. I'm proud of my husband, he's a WWII Navy veteran. He served in the South Pacific.
5. I'm grateful for cell phones -- they let me update both of Steph's brothers and Dad while she was in hospital/undergoing surgery/recovering.