Thursday, October 25, 2007

Heartstrings #7

I am really pleased to say that I finished Heartstrings #7 this week and relieved a whole lot of pressure from myself. This one was made with the extra blocks I picked up at guild last Monday night. It is 45" x 54" and will go to one of our members whose husband is a county deputy sheriff to keep in his squad car to be given to whomever needs it. It was so windy out yesterday that I had to take the picture in our library -- the quilt wouldn't stay on the swing!

Opthamologist update: In addition to a cataract in one eye that was removed, a cataract in the other eye that is growing but not ready to be removed, dry macular degeneration which turned to wet, was treated and is back to dry, Bill now has low pressure glaucoma! With the regular glaucoma test, his pressure tests normal, but with the special field test, he does have it. He will now have to have a drop of medicine in each eye every night before bed for the rest of his life. We're still thankful he has any sight at all!
I, on the other hand, have perfectly healthy eyes, no signs of any glaucoma or cataracts or, thankfully, macular degeneration. But, I now have tri-focals! I had no idea I couldn't see the mid-range clearly -- I've been compensating for it forever, plus I've always worn contacts, so didn't check for the mid-range. I ordered new glasses Monday and picked them up yesterday afternoon. So am in the process of getting used to them. I think I'm going to love them. When we get back from the cruise, Bill has to go in for a re-check on the glaucoma, so I'll take my old frames in to have prescription sunglasses made with the tri-focal.

The rest of the time before we leave for the cruise at oh dark thirty Sunday morning, I'll be cleaning house, doing more laundry, taking the dogs to the kennel (I dread this part -- I start missing JR immediately), and packing. I'm starting to get excited about the cruise. They offer a yoga class and a pilates class and I hope to sign up for both. (Weird huh? planning on exercise on vacation?!) I've always wanted to take a yoga class but have never gotten my act together enough to do it. I have tapes at home that I've used, but I think a class will be fun -- same with the pilates class (probably won't be able to move the rest of the cruise after that one!) I may hire the personal trainer too; we'll see..... You know I'll be eating well and having dessert often!

Grandkids: AJ is enrolled in a preschool class two days a week. They do crafts and learn lots of things. Yesterday they painted an ocean and then glued goldfish crackers to it. He told his mom he only ate one of them!
At his Music and Fun class at the YMCA, they played Halloween bingo. Each child was given a little cup with candy corn for the markers. He stuffed a handfull in his mouth right away (how was he to know they weren't for eating?!) Ended up he was the only one that got a Bingo!

Bill still has sight -- and at least glaucoma can be treated. He can still drive during the day, and I drive at night.
AJ -- he's certainly come a long way from 10 weeks premature.
Will -- he's starting to sleep 6 hours at night. I have a feeling he will be following in his brother's footsteps.
Briana -- she had her first band concert (she's in 4th grade and just learning to play the clarinet).

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A really productive day

I have no pics, but I sure made some progress today. I finished the outside work in the flower beds -- if I don't get out there any more this year, it's looking better than my usual fall mess, so that's a good thing.
I got Heartstrings #7 pinned on the longarm and made 4 passes on the pantograph. I'm using Hearts a Flutter by Lisa Calle on this one. This quilt is only 45" x 54", so three more passes will finish it nicely and I can probably squeeze those in tomorrow.
Then, while watching the Bears WIN their game against the Eagles, I cleaned out my fabric cabinets. The big one in the clutter room (sewing room) was so messy that I literally forgot I had whole stacks of fabrics. I had started refolding and resorting last year and again at the beginning of this year, but never finished it. Today I finished it. I put more into the Hoosier side cabinets in the kitchen, re-positioned some in the big cabinet, cleaned out the bottom two shelves and actually found another top I forgot I had that needs to be quilted. I'm actually throwing out some batting scraps that are really not worth saving (and I've been known to save every inch). I'm throwing out some old ironing board covers (why on earth did I save them in the first place -- they're really in bad shape?!) I brought the garbage bag down to the basement to sort through some of the batting and other scraps I've been accumulating down here, too.
I put away the stacks of fabric that I pulled out for my Halloween "Midnight Silhouette" quilt -- now they are right where they belong and I can actually see what I need and keep the stacks in the cabinet where they belong.

Tomorrow we have appointments with our eye doctor -- Bill has to have a field test for glaucoma, and I am getting new glasses. I have worn contacts for 41 years and this last pair have given me fits -- smudges every time I put them in. So, I quit wearing them, am back to my glasses and have decided to just go with glasses this time. I have bi-focals and it is probably easier just to leave my glasses on while quilting instead of constantly having to take my reading glasses on and off all the time. I'm going to order prescription sunglasses, too.
This whole week is going to be busy trying to get things done and get things ready for our cruise.

That feeling of accomplishment when the fabric cabinet is clean and you can actually find things in there.
That urge to pull fabrics and start a new project because you can actually see the fabrics now!
The Bears Won!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Heartstrings #6

Today was beautiful here in the midwest, so time to do a lot of outside work. First I took down the screens and hauled them into the garage, where Bill and I will put them in the rafters above the vehicles one of these days. Then I washed the windows on the outside and this is not a fun job! We live in a two story log home -- the windows on the second floor get washed by climbing out onto the roof of the porches -- not my favorite thing to do -- maybe next year I'll pay someone to do it for me! I didn't do the inside yet -- first because it takes longer because we have metal grids to make them look like eight over eights or six over sixes and they have to come out and go back in after washing -- kind of a pita. And, I can do the insides anytime. So, spent another 2 hours cleaning up flower beds and cutting back the stuff that is done blooming. Still have about another hour's work out there -- sometime tomorrow afternoon.

So, after my shower, and because I was definitely stiff and sore, I sat and stitched the binding down on Heartstrings #6. I managed to get it put together and quilted this week, and now the label and binding are on. I used a pantograph called Alfresco by Lorien Quilting again on this one. I have #7 top put together, and it is waiting for quilting now. I've felt a bit pressured to get these done because we have our vacation cruise coming up and when we get back we'll be doing family Thanksgiving the day before my next guild meeting, so I needed to get these done now and free up my time. I hate having things hanging over my head with deadlines!

A beautiful day for doing outside chores in preparation for winter.
Finishing Heartstrings #6 - really takes a load off my mind.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Will's Baptism

Grandson, Will was baptised this past Sunday. With all the people around him and pictures taken in the church were rather dark, I didn't get a good one with him in his Christening suit. So, today Steph brought the boys to the mall so she could take Will to Sears for a photo shoot and I got a pic of him in his suit. She had the photographer at Sears take pictures of him in 3 different outfits, too! He's 3 months old.
AJ is already busy playing in the play area here.

Healthy grandchildren.
A fun time with the boys today, and a few minutes for mother/daughter talk.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Homespun Jacket

I finished my jacket this afternoon. I've been working on the wool appliques all week -- buttonhole stitched them by hand, which was really easy! Put the jacket together today and stitched the binding down this afternoon and just took it out of the dryer (it probably needs a little pressing and I need to check for loose threads), but it's done! This pattern is called Homespun Jacket and is from Primitive Gatherings.

By the way, I'm really pleased with it and for someone who has no knowledge of clothing construction, it was really easy!

Tomorrow is Will's christening, so will be spending most of the day in Wisconsin.

I finished the jacket and I like how it turned out.
Working in the sewing room today.
Nice fall days.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Heartstrings #5

I finished sewing the binding and label on late this afternoon. So Heartstrings #5 is ready to go back to guild next Monday and I'll be picking up more blocks to make the final one for this year then also. This pic was taken in my basement, on the couch in front of the longarm.

Spent most of the day cleaning and doing laundry. It's a pain in the neck job, but someone has to do it! vbg Tomorrow is errands again and hopefully Wednesday or Thursday I can get back to working on my jacket. The high today was 88, but tonight the more seasonal temps return and tomorrow it's only supposed to reach 70 degrees. So, I really want to finish the jacket!

A new grandchild of my friend was born this weekend. She and mama are doing okay, although she did arrive by unscheduled c-section.
Relaxing in front of the tv after an active cleaning day.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


I put the last two borders on the Quilt For An Hour for September/October. I have the binding made and ready to go too. Now I just need to decide how I'm going to quilt it and pick up some backing fabric -- I think either a light blue or white because I'll probably be using white thread for the quilting on the top and in the bobbin.

From there I moved on to my jacket. I stopped and cleaned up the mess from the QFAH first, and cleaned the sewing machine and put in a new needle and wound a couple of bobbins with different colored thread -- it's always nice to start fresh on a new project. I have the sleeves and the back's a quilt as you go pattern. My legs got tired of standing and walking back and forth between the cutting board, ironing board and sewing machine, so the fronts will wait for another day.

I sat for the last hour of the day and stitched the binding on the Heartstrings quilt -- have two sides finished. That's the extent of my quilting day. Tonight the Bears meet the Packers and I can only hope they can pull something out of the hat to win the game -- it would be nice if at least one team in Chicago could win a game! vbg

The jacket pattern is really going together well, so far. I know nothing about garment construction, so this is a good thing!
A new needle for the sewing machine and a fresh start.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

A little bit quilty

AARRRGH! I just finished typing an entire post and blogger threw it away on me. So, I go back to the saved post and all it has are the pictures I uploaded. Double aaaarrrgh! Guess I'll try again.
What I started to say today was that I tried to convince myself that it is really anal to switch between projects in one day when I could finish one before going to the next. But, I couldn't convince myself of that fact. I detest putting borders on a quilt, so I told myself I'd put one border on the QFAH quilt and then move on to something else. Well, I did put two borders on, but left the last two for another day. I've been dying to get my jacket cut out, so I did that today. I bought the pattern from Primitive Gatherings at the Chicago show last April. It's really a simple jacket, which is why I love it. I wanted to get it finished before fall, but never managed to find the time. Now fall is here, but it was 90 degrees outside today and I have the a/c back on, so thought there's no time like the present and hopefully I can finish it before I really need it.
It has flying geese flying down the sleeves, so I also pieced those after I cut all the fabrics and batting.
In between the borders and the flying geese, I've been piecing a basketweave quilt via leaders/enders. This is the pattern from Bonnie's quiltville site, except I'm making mine 6½" squares. I finished four more today -- I've been taking the paper off at the end of the day so I only have to work on a few at a time. I have 8 finished so far. These are using the strings I sorted from that first bag of scraps a couple of weeks ago. I'll make up as many basketweave blocks as I can from the strings, then start another leader/ender from one of the other scrap quilts I sorted and then when I get a chance I'll sort another bag of scraps to replenish the supplies!
I also made up another of the blocks for the Midnight Silhouette quilt. I like doing these blocks one at a time.
I'm glad I didn't listen to myself today and worked on a few different projects -- it makes the tedious ones go faster and the rest of the day is more enjoyable.
Kevin & Deb took us out for dinner last night -- wonderful food and company. Their addition on the house is coming along nicely.
Bill used the excuse that his eye doctor doesn't want him driving at night to let me drive home last night -- it's his way of acknowledging that his eyesight is not good at night without me having to argue with him.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Life sure gets in the way of quilting sometimes. I don't think I've touched my machines except to dust them in the past week. No stitching at night, nada. Babysat the grandsons Saturday night, spent the night, came home Sunday - tired. Watched the Bears game (I'm a diehard Bears fan, what can I say). Watched Devon Hester try numerous run-backs which failed, and fell asleep when he actually did run the kick-off back for a TD! Arrrrrggghhh!
Monday was cleaning and laundry day and I also tried on a few dresses from my closet. We're going on a cruise in a few weeks and there are two cocktail/evening dress nights. Tried on the Mother-of-the-Bride dress for DD's wedding 4 years ago -- could get it on but look like a stuffed sausage. Have one in my closet I can wear. Tuesday I bought another -- basic black that fits but I wouldn't call it my "little" black dress. So, as of Monday I'm on a diet for real. I'm also back to the treadmill and setting up a weight training program. I've known for a long time that I needed to lose some weight (and really, it's not that much, but it sure has repositioned itself!), but trying on the dresses was the breaking point. Now I'm motivated. (Should have tried the dresses on a year ago! LOL) BTW -- this website is totally free and totally motivating for anyone wanting to drop a few pounds:

On to the quilty stuff. I picked this quilt up from a friend last week. Her sewing group is making baby quilts for the pediatric ward at one of the local hospitals and I told her I'd quilt them for her. So I pinned it on yesterday afternoon and quilted it with the Hearts A Flutter panto and gave it back to her last night.

The plan for today is to pin the latest Heartstrings quilt to the frame and quilt it. I have a lot of projects going at once, so finishing is good.

AJ was an angel this weekend which helped a lot in taking care of Will. Will had a bit of a gas problem for a couple of hours which was finally resolved for all our sakes! vbg
My treadmill and weight bench (I should have been on speaking terms a lot sooner!).