Monday, March 31, 2008

Twinkler is Finished

I have finally finished my Twinkler quilt! This was a pattern from Claudia's Quilt Shoppe quite a few years ago. I pieced the parts using Bonnie's leader/ender system and finally put the top together a couple of months ago. And this weekend I quilted it and labeled and bound it. I used a new pantograph called Poinsettia by Danetta Burnett. It's a really pretty pattern, but labor intensive -- rather small and close together. This quilt is not very big, and I'll probably keep it for myself for Christmas time -- I used all Christmas scraps and yellow/gold background scraps. It's nice to have it finished!
This is going to be another busy week, so I'm only hoping to get the backing pressed, cut and stitched for the next quilt to go on the longarm -- my Christmas Stars. I was going to use the same panto, but think I'm going to try freehanding a similar design, only larger! I'll need to practice a lot before I try it.

We've had a couple of thunderstorms last night and today and some steady rain, but the temps reached into the 60's today and you could actually watch the grass turning green!
Bill helped me rake the leaves out of the flower beds on Saturday, so I can watch the daffodils, hyacinths and tulips break ground.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spring Cleaning, Part 2

This week's project was the other half of my sewing area in the clutter room. I did the shelves and left side last week. So today I tackled the right side. And yes, I took everything off the walls and vacuumed the wall and ceiling & beams. And put every individual spool of thread back on the racks and in the printers' drawer! I didn't need to toss much and put everything back where it was mostly. The main job in this room is the floor -- the grout has to be scrubbed with a brush by hand and then sealed. It is a royal pita and is supposed to be done once a year (sealing) -- but I'm pretty sure I didn't get it done last year at all. This is only half of the clutter room, too, so I'll be doing another section next week! (The first two pictures are before and the third one is after! I did spend an hour working on my hand applique after the work was finished today! YAY me!

Yesterday I went up to Steph's and got quality time with her and the boys (Briana is at her mother's for half the spring break time). It was a great day. I haven't been up there since cooky day in December (other than for Christmas and AJ's birthday). It's nice to get away and spend some time with my daughter and grandsons one on one!

We had a great Easter at our house -- I did most of the cooking on Saturday so just had to throw the ham and potatoes in the oven in the morning on Easter. All the kids were here. We go to Madison next Thursday for Steve's MRI and the start of his next phase of chemo.

Things I love: #11. Will loves to watch AJ playing and giggles and laughs at AJ's antics. So fun.

Bill gave JR a bath today -- at my urging -- and now my puppy is all shiny white!
The sewing room is in good shape!
Finding time for hand applique this afternoon.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

DD, Stephanie and Will, age 8 months and 1 week. He's one happy baby!

Hope your Easter was as happy as ours!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spring Cleaning

I hate spring cleaning, but I like when the work is done! This year I planned and made a two page list, to start in the living room and work my way south. My living room is relatively easy -- a one day job, because there's not a lot of clutter in there. Problem is, I tend to get a room or two finished and then life gets in the way and I spend the rest of the year trying to get every other room hit and miss! So, revised my strategy and decided to start at the south end of the house and work north! The clutter room is the southernmost end of the house -- it includes my sewing room, the back door/mud room/ the pantry and microwave and entrance to the kitchen and the small bath on the main floor. It's a multipurpose room, obviously. So, today I started -- with the sewing room end and these shelves are built in next to the fireplace back. The other side of this wall is the kitchen dining area. Here's what the shelves looked like before I started.

I started a bit after 11 this morning and finished about 3:30 this afternoon! I did one shelf at a time starting at the top, but also had to vacuum the beams and walls and floors and wipe out each shelf before I sorted through the junk and put things back. Also did the baseboards, washed the floor, moved the dresser out and cleaned behind it and under it, and finally sealed the grout in the tile in that area. And this is what it looked like afterwards! And boy, do I have a long way to go! The plan is to only work one day a week at it -- doing only one day's work at a time. I may work two days a week if I feel like it -- but really, that cuts into my quilting time!

Next time I'll work on the other half of the sewing area -- the sewing machine side!

Saturday, March 15, 2008


I've been sick since Tuesday. I actually donated platelets on Tuesday and then got sick Tuesday night and had to call the blood bank and tell them to throw away the donation -- I'd hate to be responsible for a cancer patient hoping to get a bit of a revival and ending up getting sicker. I finally caught a cold -- I refuse to believe this is the flu since I did get a flu shot this year as usual. AJ and Will are also sick with this crud -- AJ spiked a temp of 104.5 at the doctor's office Wednesday night. They are both on the mend, and I'm hoping I am also!

Anyway -- I was feeling so lousy on Wednesday that all I did was take naps and read my book. Thursday I managed to get the log cabin quilt top put together. Friday I put the borders on it -- so at least it's ready for Monday night's guild meeting. I really didn't feel like sewing yesterday, but I did anyway. I was thinking I'd make a little Easter bunny or spring wall hanging, but couldn't find the pattern I was thinking of. I ran across the pattern for this baby quilt though, along with the panel of sayings and the fabrics I had set aside for making it. So, I put it together instead. I love the little sayings, but not that fond of the fabrics and design! I'll finish it and give it to Steph though - probably after Easter.

I sat down and planned out my Easter dinner today and hopefully have the grocery list complete. We'll have ham, as usual, so just needed to figure out what I was having with it.

I think Steve will have my computer together by next Sunday, so he can set it up when they come for dinnner. He said he's working on it today, but they sent him the wrong heat sync, so he'll have to wait for the new one to arrive, probably on Monday. I can't wait! I'll be calling about a wireless connection as soon as I get it!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Cabin Fever

I have 30 blocks done and just put them up on the design board. I think I'd like to make 12 more and set them 6 x 7 - but not sure if I have time. I have to have the top including borders put together by the 17th. Haven't decided on a setting yet, either, but kind of like the furrows one. I do like the blue and white with a few purple/red-purple strips thrown in. I'm definitely going to make another blue and white quilt someday.
Anyway -- that's my accomplishment this weekend. I finished 15 of these blocks today -- the last round of logs.

I also pulled out the next quilt for the longarm and pressed the top and the backing. I hope to get it loaded after I finish the Cabin Fever quilt. I'm itching to try my new panto on it!

Steve called this afternoon. He was totally blown away last night by a surprise party engineered by an old friend and helped by Kim. About 50 friends showed up from all over -- a couple from Atlanta, a couple from Arizona, Green Bay, WI, Chicago, Peoria, IL. He was totally surprised -- I would have liked to have seen his face -- but he told me all about it. Collectively they are known as Team Talbott and they just wanted him to know they are all in his corner (and a whole lot more that couldn't make it last night). Even his best friend from high school arrived from Atlanta!

Friends and family.
Playing with fabric.

Saturday, March 08, 2008


Here it is March 8 and I'm just getting around to posting the March calendar picture! Time is flying by -- I must be having fun! NOT!

We are celebrating this weekend -- Steve finished the 6 weeks of radiation and chemo yesterday. Now he gets 4 weeks off before he starts the chemo clinical trial phase. I drove 3 times this week and rode up with Steve & Kim on Friday. We stopped at the Blue Moon in Madison after his appointments for a great greasy bar burger. I ate too much, but what else is new? I haven't exercised in weeks and have managed to gain back most of the weight I've lost in the past few months -- so the diet starts on Monday again!

Today I spent the entire day at a "Creativity Day" organized by a friend in Byron. She organizes this once a year, we rent a large room at the Prairie Center in Byron (which is a Park District facility). We all bring food and whatever we want to work on for the day -- there are quilters, knitters, scrapbookers and various other crafts happening. I worked on my log cabin blocks for my Cabin Fever challenge. It was a great day -- once again spent the day eating! but also sewing, and visiting with friends -- totally unwinding. I hadn't sewn all week because I was too tired to do much of anything after driving each day.

Steve and I have worked on my computer problems this week on our trips! Steve is building me a new computer (he ordered all the parts and called and said it looks like a large jigsaw puzzle -- the motherboard isn't even installed! vbg) My pc is slowly dying, so I've had to move everything over to my laptop and I'm looking forward to having a new pc to work with. I'm also fed up with dialup so will be checking out two possibilities this week -- wireless through the same company I have dialup, and if that won't work out here in the boonies, I'll have to spring for satellite (we have dish network out here, so I know I can get the satellite internet through the same company). Steve and I have decided I need to have a router installed at the same time so I can actually use the laptop anywhere in the house. It's been fun discussing all this during our drives this week -- he always has the answers to my questions. It's nice having your own computer guru! I've really enjoyed our time together over this past two months --- everyone gets so busy with day to day life that we don't take the time to have some one on one with our own grown kids -- I highly recommend it! I hope next week to get up to Steph's because we both miss spending some time together too.

Phase I of radiation/chemo is finished and Steve did really well.
The people at UW Madison have such a positive outlook and are so helpful, it really made everything easier on us.
Bill has been holding down the fort at home this week and even bought a new microwave when ours crashed (I really couldn't drag myself out to shop for one after coming home from Madison on Thursday!)

Sunday, March 02, 2008


I've been tagged by Joan at My Quilt Life to post 7 random or weird things about myself. One should probably be that I am forever a day late and a dollar short! Sorry, Joan, for my tardiness.

--Once you are tagged, link back to the person who tagged you.
--Post THE RULES on your blog.

--Post 7 weird or random facts about yourself on your blog.
--Tag 7 people and link to them.
--Comment on their blog to let them know they have been tagged.

Seven weird or random facts about me:

1. I dislike talking on the phone just for the sake of talking! There are a few people (I can count on one hand) that I will talk to on the phone for 30 - 60 minutes, but basically, I prefer to take care of business and get on with my day. I think it comes from spending years as a secretary and having to answer the phone constantly, interrupting whatever work I was trying to do!

2. My husband and I met in a bowling alley. We bowled on the same couples league -- he with his first wife and I with a boyfriend. A few years later, I was no longer dating that man, his first wife died, I substituted for a friend on the same league, and we met again, dated and married within 2 months time!

3. I have always been sorry that I didn't finish college. I had a tuition scholarship for special education, but decided I didn't want to teach; didn't stop to think about what I would like to do, other than get married and have kids. Never went back except for taking a couple of courses at the local junior college.

4. My mother's younger sister married my dad's younger brother. I have a cousin that is 6 months younger than I am and as we were growing up, people found it hard to tell us apart. (That's not a problem these days -- I inherited my mom's white hair -- she got stuck with the grayer side!).

5. I love electronic gadgets -- once the computer bug finally hit me I've been on the 'net and learning new stuff. I'm the one in the family that has to set all the clocks and I'm the one that spends the time to figure out why the vcr won't record the station we aren't watching! vbg

6. I have taken quite a few of the Microsoft courses offered at New Horizons computer centers. Steve was first a Manager of the NH in Rockford, then the Sales Manager for the corporate offices, based in Rosemont, IL. So, I got to take the courses for free. I even took the one that teaches you how to take a computer apart and rebuild it! Can I remember any of it? Not a whole lot!

7. I can give you chapter and verse about eating healthy and exercising. I cook mostly healthy meals for my husband because we've been on the heart diet since 1987 when he had his first heart attack. That being said -- I'm the worst cheater -- I eat lots of chocolate and other snacks and have to fight with myself daily to exercise -- and many times I lose!

8. And one more -- I am extremely proud of my kids -- I don't tell them that enough. And I always think that they grew up to be wonderful human beings either because of me -- or probably more like in spite of me!

So there you have it -- more about me than you ever wanted to know. I'm supposed to tag 7 more people, but I've been so busy the past week and will be driving a lot this next week, so I can't really keep up with anyone's blog right now. If you'd like to do this tag -- go for it and let me know!