Saturday, January 31, 2009

The end of January

So, here we are at the end of January and I don't feel that I accomplished much this month.
I finished an applique top, but haven't quilted it yet.
I finished Steph's Christmas present, the Valentine quilt. Her dad made a quilt hanger for her too, so that was a great extra gift, but I need to get up there to get a picture because I forgot to take a picture here.
I finished the deep clean of Steph's old bedroom/my extra sewing room.
I started the deep clean of the guest room -- the closet shelf and a couple of drawers in one dresser, plus restacking the very large pile of quilts.
I did get new folders made and a ton of papers filed and reorganized in the desk area. I also got the quilt patterns I've been saving organized in books.
I've started typing up the recipes I want to keep -- that's an ongoing project.
I haven't lost as much weight as I wanted to by this point, but I haven't given up either.

I did sew with Kris yesterday. I worked on my "Starstruck" quilt from Bonnie's site. This is an ongoing project that I'm not in a hurry to finish. I've also been doing some applique projects at home -- I have 3 that I'm working on simultaneously! Two are old ones and I started a new to me one. I've done a few quilts over the years that were designed by the Country Threads ladies and I've got a few of their books. When I was re-organizing in the new sewing room, I found the book with the pattern called: Use it Up, Wear it out, Make it do, or do without. I've always been going to do that one, so I decided to start it now -- no time like the present, right?! Still working on my Primitive Garden quilt, too. I have a few more partially finished applique projects waiting in the wings, too, but 3 are probably enough for now!

Tomorrow my favorite quilt store is having their "Super Bolt Sunday Sale" and I haven't been there in ages, so friend, Jackie and I are going tomorrow afternoon.

So, tomorrow starts a new month and a new resolve to actually finish a quilting project, maybe finish cleaning the guest room and definitely get more exercising and less eating done! We'll be celebrating AJ's fifth birthday in February too!

25 things

Steve tagged me on Facebook, but I can't figure out how to do this on Facebook, plus I don't have any friends listed there yet! vbg He wanted me to do it anyway, so here goes.

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

1. I've always been very proud of how my kids turned out, but don't think I can take the credit for it.
2. I'm an organizing freak, but nothing ever stays organized long.
3. I sometimes feel that decades of my life happened while I stood by and watched, without my concious participation.
4. If I had a previous life, or if I could go back in time, I could see myself as a pioneer woman establishing a homestead on a prairie.
5.I was a very shy child.
6. If my husband dies before me, I will not re-marry. He's the best husband and I don't think he can be replaced -- and I won't settle for mediocre! vbg
7. I was 34 and Bill was 55 when we married -- he patiently waited while I grew up.
8. We've been recycling for 27+ years, but I've only been trying to actually "think green" for the last 2 years.
9. I'm actually quite frugal (not cheap, there is a difference). I'm willing to pay for quality.
10. I hate paying taxes and the electric bill!
11. I could live without the tv, but not a radio or music player.
12. I had great parents and a very happy childhood with a big extended family. I was the third of 4 kids. My younger brother and I are the only two left (except for cousins).
13. I've always regretted not finishing college.
14. Quilting/sewing is a big part o my life -- I'm addicted to it.
15. I used to smoke. I quit smoking about 18 years ago.
16. I'm a Bears fan -- love NFL football, not so crazy about baseball, or basketball.
17. I'm more than ready to downsize -- smaller house, smaller yard, same amount of quilting stash ;-)!
18. I've found that I've reached the point that I don't need or want every new thing that I see.
19. I find I'd rather eat than exercise -- probably why I can never lose weight.
20.I'd like to live in the same town as my kids and grandkids.
21. I've become my mother -- but I'm not upset about it -- she was a great mom. I do worry that the Alzheimer's she had for the last 16 years of her life is hereditary, but I'm already 3 years past the age when her's started.
22. My husband only has 1 vocal chord becaue of throat cancer 45 years ago. He sounds like "the godfather".
23. When Bill adopted my two kids, a friend said, "Now they have a name to live up to instead of one they'd have to live down".
24. When I divorced my first husband, I was awarded $80 a month child support total for 2 kids. And he never bothered to pay any.
25. The day Steve was adopted, you could actually see the weight of the world lift off his shoulders -- that's one of those lifetime memories.

So, I'm supposed to pick 25 people to do this, but hey, do it if you want and let me know!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A New Day Has Dawned....

We, in Illinois, at least everyone I know, is quite happy to say that Blago has been impeached! He's outta there!
I hope this sends a message to all those other politicals that we will no longer tolerate that nonsense -- you all work for us -- get with the program.
And a side note: The reason he wasn't impeached earlier or even in his first term: He had the president of the Senate in his back pocket and he (the president of the Senate) blocked any kind of legislation that would go against Blago. Personally, I think he retired before he could be ousted also. Just my humble opinion, folks.

We are celebrating tonight!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A little gift

This is a cute little winter runner Kris made for me -- she made two, one for each of us. Thanks, Kris! I finished the binding this afternoon after spending most of the day quilting another quilt.

It was a lovely day! (Any day with quilting is a lovely day!).

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

An Exciting Day...

And I'm not talking about the inauguration! Although, I'm sure that was exciting for many. Myself, being from Illinois, I don't have a lot of faith in any politician, so I'm praying God helps out our new president and he can jump-start the economy. Cleaning up politics is way too much to ask! Bill had an Opthamologist appointment. Because he was going to have his eyes dilated, I drove. The two-lane from our house to Rte. 20 was relatively slick, so I drove carefully. Coming off the ramp to enter Rte 20, I began to accelerate because the road was clear and traffic was moving at a normal (65 mph) speed. I had not reached 65 mph yet, and all of a sudden we were flying down the highway (20 is a divided 4 lane), sideways -- first one way, then another and finally ended up backwards in the ditch in a snowbank. I swear we were going a lot faster sideways than forwards. I can also tell you that God was there with us. Neither of us were hurt; there was no other car in the immediate vicinity (but plenty on the road, there just weren't any around when this happened); and I managed to miss all the highway posts, signs and trees. Plenty of cars passed us and luckily did not hit the black ice I did -- Bill thinks it's because I was accelerating and the back tires hit the ice (I have rear wheel drive on my car -- not 4 wheel). The county deputy that came out told me (as I'm eye level to his feet because I'm in a ditch and he's standing on the roadway) "It's easier to drive up here than down there!" Sure -- I get a comedian! The tow-truck driver said he can see a lot of the black ice from his elevated position in the truck that we can't see from our car. I had one flat tire, but no other damage, and no one was hurt. I still can't believe I didn't hit anyone else or any other object out there. We are definitely blessed.
Needless to say, the eye doctor appointment has been rescheduled. Oh, and I made Bill drive for the rest of our errands after that!

The obvious -- no one was hurt and I didn't hit anyone else.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Happy Birthday, Steve!

Today is Steve's 40th birthday! (OMG -- I have a 40 yr old son!)
I talked to him on the phone this afternoon and he said it really doesn't bother him to be 40 -- after this past year he feels a lot younger!
I was just remembering his birthday -- he was born at 3:10 in the afternoon on a Saturday and he was 3-1/2 weeks early. My aunt was having a baby shower for me the following week -- so he got to attend his own baby shower.
Happy Birthday, Steve - and many, many more.

I've been quilting a lot the past couple of days. This is the back of a quilt I did for a friend. Isn't it just the greatest -- she appliqued the kitten block right in the middle of the back. I love it.


Steve turned 40! 'nuff said.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cutting Scraps

This week after finishing whatever project or errand or chore I have planned in the morning/early afternoon, I've spent some time at the cutting table and ironing board. These 4-1/2" squares are the rest of the parts I need for Starstruck (, and I pieced the strips Monday afternoon, and pressed them Tuesday afternoon and cut them to size yesterday afternoon!

And this pile on the left is the rest of a bag of strips that I pressed the other day. They are waiting to be cut into strips and squares. I really need to get them cut and filed -- I found while working with the Starstruck pieces that it would be really easy to just pull all the red 2-1/2" squares for the next part, except I don't have enough red squares cut. I'll have to cut from stash for the ones I need now, but I really want to get my scraps cut and filed for future quilts. I have all the bins sorted and pressed and cut into specific sizes now, but I still have a ton of scraps to do.
These are the ones that I did cut from the pile on the left. I am making progress -- just kinda slow. But I'm going to try to work a bit on it each day or as often as I can.
Boy, am I thankful for the kitchen fireplace today! It was -20°F at 8 am this morning, wind chills of -30° and -40° all day. It is supposed to be worse tonight and tomorrow morning before it starts warming up again. (Warming, meaning above 0°!)
I managed to pin a quilt on the longarm today, and not rush through the job! Slow and steady wins the race, right?! I really need to rein in my impatience and I was successful today.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Last Thursday I finished shampooing the carpet in my new sewing/craft room. I was planning on moving everything back in on Friday, but I was unable to move myself from the bathroom for very long on that day, so I moved some of the stuff on Saturday and the rest on Sunday. This room is now the cleanest room in the house! vbg The dresser between the windows is full of quilts -- I sorted them today so only small table covers/runners and wall hangings are in the drawers -- the bigger quilts are in another room.

I set my second machine up in here before Christmas and was working on a Bonnie Hunter designed scrap quilt a couple of months ago -- well, I started it and then got side tracked making Christmas gifts. I figured out where I left off and actually got some sewing time in yesterday afternoon -- it was quite enjoyable. (JR thinks he's getting away with something because he's upstairs in this room -- I guess he thinks he's not supposed to be because he keeps running out of the room when I look at him!)

I set my antique ironing board up in here for convenience, but I can't iron too much at a time at it because it's too short! I'm only 5'6", but it hurts my back, so definitely built for short people!

Anyway -- the only thing I have left to do in this room is finish organizing the quilt patterns from magazines and that's well on its way (after I found more patterns and magazines downstairs!).
After I finished the Valentine wall hanging, I was searching for something in my other sewing room (!), and found this old applique project. I hadn't prepped Block 8 of the Primitive Garden quilt yet (which I finally did today), so I pulled this project out and worked on it a bit at a time at night and finally finished the top. This kit was bought at the first Chicago International Quilt Festival -- something like four or five years ago now. It was a kit sold at Caryl Bryer Fallert's booth and it's reverse applique. I, however, reversed the tree because I forget that most patterns expect you to trace the pattern on the reverse side of the fabric and I mark the front of my fabric for appliqueing. I pulled some black fabric and added the border and will do some minimal quilting and call it finished. I loved the pattern when I first saw it and still love it now that I finally finished it!

Having one room done and having most of the organization that I planned done in there too -- good feeling. I'll finish it completely before I moved to the next area.
My daughter turned 33 on Saturday -- she's become quite a remarkable woman, daughter, wife and mother.


Bill and I were hit with stomach pains at the same time Friday morning. It quickly became stomach flu and was not a fun day. I started recovery on Saturday, Bill is about a day behind me but he's doing better. I'm about 95% now. It sure hits hard and fast and makes one really weak and achy in addition to all the other unpleasantness. And -- it sure did ruin my plans for a couple of days.
We also got about 8 inches of snow total with some freezing rain in between. I'm thankful for our neighbor who came over and plowed the drive Saturday morning -- he does this all the time so he had no idea we were sick. But it was sure appreciated.

I have some pictures to post of things I did get accomplished this weekend, so I'll post them later (after I clean house today!).

Sunday, January 04, 2009

January Postcards

I spent a couple of hours this afternoon making these postcards for the grandkids. (I can't believe how long it takes to make these -- mostly because I'm designing as I go and I'm not that good at it!) I think the kids will like them, though. I do have the plastic envelopes to slip them into and I'll probably take them to the post office tomorrow afternoon - after my house cleaning chores are done!

We got a sleet/thunderstorm in the middle of the night -- very strange to have lightning at this time of year!


I slept in this morning -- no point in trying to go anywhere, I don't do slick roads! I needed the sleep too -- haven't been sleeping well at all this week.

Making up menus a week ahead of time -- sure saves the brain from overtaxing itself every evening!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

If I'd have done it right the first time....

I wouldn't have had to redo it today! It was bugging me, so I fixed the obvious messy quilting and added quilting to the hearts -- they needed it. Now it's acceptable (not perfect, you understand), but I can live with it!

Humorous conversation with Steph this morning.
Great coffee, 2 hour conversation with Kris today.

Friday, January 02, 2009

It's Finished

This is technically a ufo - because I started it last year and finished it this year (today). I'm not real happy with the quilting, some parts are okay, some I should have spent more time on. Once again I found myself hurrying to finish instead of quitting for the day and doing the rest today. I also have a nasty habit of not practicing on the whiteboard ahead of time, which I really should do because it does take me a while to get into the swing of whatever I'm doing. I did do some line dancing in the triangle border that worked pretty well -- I actually used a curved ruler to help me stay in line. I'm probably not among the majority, but I do like working with rulers on the longarm.

Anyway -- so this is Steph's Christmas present -- a valentine's wall hanging! She'll get it when we meet this month to celebrate birthdays -- her's, both brother's and her husband's!

So that's the first quilt project for the new year. I'll be picking up a couple of tops to quilt for a friend tomorrow. I also made a quick snowman top from a panel I've had for a couple of years -- all I did was add borders -- so I think I'll do some practice quilting on it next chance I get.

Finishing a quilt. Always makes me want to start another right away!