Friday, December 31, 2010

Last Post of 2010!




The bread was wonderful! See the picture---not much left of that first loaf. The second full loaf is cinnamon raisin, and it is really good as well. This machine is a "hi rise" machine, and at least with these two loafs, it has lived up to the name. I went to the grocery store and purchased some wheat flour and that will be my next loaf---tomorrow---since that is really the only type of bread we normally eat. I also got black-eyed peas (for good luck in the coming year) and mixed greens (for money in the coming year), so I will cook the customary dinner. It is said that what you are doing when the new year comes in will be what you will be doing all year, and the condition of your house will be an indicator of it's condition all year. Given that, if the legend hold true, I will be sleeping all year or playing with my DSi, and I will always have laundry waiting to be done.
Well this is the last post of the year of 2010! I am pretty proud of myself----almost a year! I have enjoyed this process really---so many new friends and I haven't met a one (other than Diane of course)! I wish all my new friends a blessed, safe and happy new year!!!!!! There have been some challenges, and some trying times---but I look forward to 2011 with anticipation.
See you next year!!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Late Christmas Gift (AKA My DH really was listening)!


I love baking bread, but unlike Judy I really don't necessarily like to do it all "by hand". I make delicious rolls by hand, but when it comes to loaf bread----I just don't like all the kneading, etc. Anyway, I asked for a bread maker years ago when they first came out and my DH bought me one for Christmas---that was probably 17 years ago (or more). The poor thing finally pooped. It stopped getting hot enough and the bread really didn't rise. I was reading Subee's blog where she discussed her new bread maker and the awesome loaves of bread it made. I mentioned it to DH and really didn't think he was paying attention. I really should have known better because it was a "throw away" conversation that got me my long arm; my GO! and my Pandora bracelets---so I should realize he really is paying attention. Anyway, we went out to lunch today and when we got back this very large box was sitting on the side of the house. When we brought it in, what should be in there but the bread maker!!!! The exact one I wanted!!!! I couldn't wait to use it of course, so a plain loaf of white bread is being made as we speak. I used the recipe that came with the machine and it seemed like an awful lot of milk (1.5 cups plus 2 T) but I followed the direction closely. I then read the directions that said the milk should be heated slightly, which I didn't do, but hopefully everything will come out okay. Isn't my Honey Bunny a nice guy (when he wants to be)! Fresh bread is ahead for sure---and I wanted to lose weight!

On a quilty subject, I was looking over the list of quilts I have finished this year and I have been pretty productive. 17 quilts, not counting the one that I only put a binding on---and these are really finished----quilted and bound (although Asian Indigo is still being quilted). Since I have joined Judy's UFO Challenge, I should complete at least 12 next year! Pretty good huh!

Now for some New Year's Resolutions!

My quilty one is to straighten up my sewing room (studio) by:

  • Going through my scrap bin and getting rid of all those tiny pieces of fabric, and cutting the larger pieces into triangles/squares/strips---and then putting those in separate easily accessed bins.
  • Cutting up my various FQ's that I either received as gifts, or purchased for no apparent reason, into the same usable pieces as mentioned above.
  • Review all my magazines and tear out the patterns that I will eventually make (maybe) and throw the rest out.
  • Go through the large garbage bag of batting pieces and piece the bigger ones together to use in utility quilts and get rid of the pieces that are unusable (maybe I will check with the Vet and see if they could use some little pet pillows. I could get rid of some yuk fabric as well as the leftover batting scraps).

Well, everything sounds doable. Hopefully this will be accomplished, along with my UFO's.

Hugs and I'll keep you posted on the progress of the bread!

xoxo

Monday, December 27, 2010

Another Great Christmas!!!!


This was another great Christmas!!!! Christmas gifts are all about the Grand babies---and did they ever have a great time. By the time I got home Christmas evening, they could hardly contain themselves! It was an effort for them to wait for me to get my coat off and then it was gift opening for all!!!! It did snow and although the weather"person" was correct from that perspective, they were in error (thank goodness) in that we didn't get the amount they predicted! It snowed all day, but hardly any really accumulated.

I was able to finish quilting "Bountiful" and completed the quilt top for "Asian Indigo". I am going to finish the binding on Bountiful before I start quilting it though. I am working really hard to relax this holiday---I so often end up more fatigued than I was when I began it. Hope your Holiday was a great one as well!!!!
Hugs!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!

I have to work tomorrow, but am splitting the shift with another nurse so only have to work the first 6 hours! I spent all day cooking so when I get home tomorrow (around 2 PM), we will open the remainder of the gifts (the kids will of course have opened some of theirs) and I will only have to put the dressing in the oven and put the green bean casserole together....everything else is done, including the rolls (I will just have to warm them up). ...I will put the turkey in the roaster right before leaving for work in the morning.

We are suppose to have a white Christmas!!! The kids are really excited---not me, especially since I have to drive in it. My poor son has to work tomorrow night from 11p to 7A, so he isn't very happy either. .....but maybe it will not happen, it certainly wouldn't be the first time a prediction of weather didn't materialize.

Well, gotta go check on the rolls and get a little rest before it all starts again tomorrow. Here is hoping you all have the best Christmas ever!!!!! God's Blessings to you and your loved ones!!!

Patricia

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Latest Update(s)!




This year I decided to have two Christmas trees. Joanne's had a 90% on trees last summer and I got the one above for $7. It is unlit and I thought would be perfect for a "Grand babies Tree". I was correct! We made decorations, I got some balls from the $1 store and we put candy canes on. I also got a bag of ice sickles (some call them tinsel) and the kids were responsible for doing it all themselves. That one bag of sickles had enough to cover every tree in TN I think, but the kids enjoyed it. There tree topper is a Santa!


I treated myself to a new GO! die! This is the diamond die. I really think this will be a great die to use to make a dent in my scrap bin. It was only $19 and so I figured it was worth buying. I now have almost all the current dies that I would use. Now to get to using them---one of my NY's resolutions.


Harriet is feeling much better! Butch came to fix her and I really did hit the Jackpot. He is a quilter himself and knows the little special things of a good stitch. He also shared with me his little tricks for getting good tension., and didn't mind my husband looking over his shoulder as he timed the machine. I have to honestly say I don't think I got a stitch this good when the machine was brand new. Unfortunately I have added something else to my "wish list"----edge rider wheels. My wheels are a little wobbly---and I would love some new ones. The edge rider's are $90 though so I will have to save a bit. Butch showed my husband how to install them so maybe for "Valentine's Day"???????
The above picture is my attempt to show you the stitch quality--since my machine is hand guided, there is no other way for me to get a good stitch except me and therefore tension is very important. This is "Bountiful" I am quilting. Still looks weird to me, but I had the perfect backing---a flannel with hot peppers. I got about 8 or 9 yards of this five years ago when the Joanne's that was close to me was closing. Just goes to show that if you are careful about what you purchase, staying true to your basic likes....who would have thought I would make a weird quilt that was perfect for the weird backing. Guess I am just weird :c) or maybe "quirky" is a better word.
Well, I am going to go back down now and work on the quilt and then put the borders on another and add it to my completed list....then start to prepare for Saturday. I have to work the first 6 hours of my 12 so I will need to essentially do most of my cooking on Friday.
Have a great day and "talk" to you later!!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

My UFO 2011 List

Okay---here is my "formal" 2011 list that I will be working from as part of the Judy Challenge (I don't have pictures, but will post them as I finish):
  1. The scrappy house quilt
  2. Batik strings (just needs a binding)
  3. The star quilt (just needs a binding)
  4. "Sewing Green" Drunkard's Path" (from old shirts)
  5. "Traditional" string quilt
  6. "Non-traditional" string quilt (tube first)
  7. Paint box quilt
  8. Red and White Log Cabin
  9. Scrap Depression Block Quilt
  10. Apple Core Quilt

I honestly can't think of 12 UFO's, so I am adding 3 quilts that I have been wanting to make and haven't yet:

  1. (10) Half Log Cabin
  2. (11) Scrap Flannel
  3. (12) Zig Zag Quilt

I have one quilt that is a 10 year UFO---but I honestly am not sure I even want to finish it. I don't have the directions anymore----so I am going to think about that one. I guess I am setting myself up for a success by not adding it, since I don't even like it anymore. Hope that isn't cheating---I might add it later.

Well here is my list----let's hope I am not only successful in completing the list, but that I can link. Click on the badge on the right and see what you need to do to join! Please do---it will be fun!

xoxo

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What Am I Working On??


This is actually on my UFO list, but since I have completed two quilts, I thought I would work on this rather than start another new quilt.

If I make this quilt again, I will make sure the center blocks are over-size when I dye them. What I did was cut them the correct size, dye them and then when I washed the dye out many of them frayed. This then made some of the blocks slightly smaller. I think what I will do is to add strips of the bordering fabrics to make up the size. Some of the blocks will be "odd" but I think that will add to the quilts quirky personality. I am really working on my spontaneity. In the old days if the quilter ran out of one fabric, she would just substitute another one, maybe one that looked like the original, or even of a totally different color. When you see quilts like that, the makers creative adventure is highlighted, proofed by the "quirky" block. This quilt will have quite a few "quirky" blocks :c). Even with that, I am liking this quilt. I have two rows together and have 6 more to go. Of course I am making it bigger---remember, I don't do "small" much.

I am using a denim for the sashing and border. Not the jean type, but a lighter, more apparel weight denim that I just happened upon at Joanne's. It is working pretty good. I now just have to go up into my stash and see if I can find an appropriate backing. A blue and white batik would work great, but I don't have any so I will have to improvise.

Have a great day. BTW--Butch didn't call me back yesterday. I will give him until about 12 and then I will call him. I must have Harriett up and running!
xoxo

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Harriet is Sick!!!!

Harriet is the name of my long arm.. I have had problems with this machine since day one----I have never been able to really just thread it and start quilting. Something was always wrong---bad tension the most common problem, broken needles caused by some broken part. The dealer I purchased it from turned out to not be a very nice person and initially I called Gammill to complain and told them to take the machine back. Anyway, to make a long story short, I saved a long time for this machine and decided to go ahead and be a grown-up and deal with the issues. I have a small fortune tied up in tension gauges and finally found a thread she likes---the cheapest serger thread, and have been getting along fairly well. Then suddenly I started getting skipped stitches. I posted on the Yahoo group and got some good advice----I decided to "time" this honey-bunny. I thought I did a good job---but the problem continued. I purchased a video---$54 that was recommended and although I wish he would speak a little faster gives some good instructions with pictures (which helps me). Anyway, I called my son who just graduated from school and is a mechanic (don't know why I thought this would make him more likely to be able to fix my machine) and got him to help me unscrew screws. We worked on poor Harriet for over 2 hours and all we accomplished was getting the screwdriver slammed into my finger---the problem became worst. My son and daughter said they would pay for the repairman to come so "PLEASE Mommie, call the expert!!!" My husband just sorta looked over my shoulder directing (he had looked at the video too but said he wasn't touching that "machine and getting blamed for anything"). I followed their advice and called the repairman, Butch, and he is going to call me back tonight after he talks with his wife to see what she has planned for him next week but he thinks he will be able to come on Monday or Tuesday. I really hope so-----how I wish there was a local repairman---Butch is having to come from Alabama! I am not going to talk very much, since he is charging by the hour, and hope whatever it is, he can fix it really fast. He did make me feel better by saying it was a "art" to time the machine---wish someone had mentioned that in the video.

Monday, December 13, 2010

UFO Challenge

I have decided to join Judy's UFO Challenge. Like everyone else I have UFO's but unfortunately, I keep adding to the list rather than making it smaller. I really want to get to the point through where when I start a quilt I work only on that one to finish it. The goal of the challenge is to finish a UFO a month. Hopefully I will not find myself finishing my UFO's but adding multiple quilts to the 2012 list. My UFO list for 2011 is:
  1. Apple Core Quilt
  2. Paintbox Quilt
  3. Depression Block Quilt
  4. House block scrap quilt (just started)
  5. Hand-dyed center block quilt (oriental fabric framing)
  6. Batik Quilt (only needs the binding)
  7. Snowball quilt (only needs the binding)
  8. String Quilt (made as a tube and then cut into a block).
  9. Drunkard's Path

This is all I can think of right now. There is one other one but it is so old---about 7 years old and at this time, I am not even sure if I want to really finish it, plus I lost the directions so......... As you can see I haven't named the quilts yet so the names are descriptive only, hence string quilt that is made as a tube.

Let's see how I do. It sounds like fun though, but that quilt I started 7 years ago sounded like fun too.

xoxo

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Why did I make a quilt using fruits and veggies?

I am almost finished with my "Bountiful" quilt, and although I did a pretty good job---why would I make a quilt out of fruit and veggie fabrics? At the time it seemed novel, and maybe a fun quilt, but as I look at it it just seems strange. That tells you the type of mood I have been in lately. Anyway, I am going to finish it (of course) and who knows, my grand babies might think it would be fantastic to nap under. If not, this might be one I give to someone---not to a charity---but something like this needs a specific person in mind.

My week-end was a nice quiet one. I belong to two guilds, and one had their Christmas Party yesterday. There was lots good food, laughter and just enjoying being together. It rained and by the time the party ended, about 2PM, the temperature was falling. It has continued to fall and now it is snowing. School has been canceled and given that, my other Guild's Party is as well. Don't know when it will be rescheduled but at this one I was going to find out who my "Secret Sister" was. Well, that will have to wait.

No real news---so I will go back into my sewing room and tidy a bit---I have been in the scrap bins and fabric is EVERYWHERE!!!!!!

xoxo

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!!!

If you are one of my 27 Followers, you know I don't talk a lot about my life other than the quilting part. Unlike Lane when I do try to write about myself, it isn't interesting nor is it nearly as insightful as he does, so I just focus on quilting. Today however (since this is a bit like a journal), I thought I would admit that today is my birthday! For a long time I had a problem thinking about getting older. There was so much I wanted to do and it seemed that if I admitted I was getting older, I wouldn't be able to accomplish everything. Suddenly I realize that the opposite of getting older is to die young. which makes getting old not so bad after all.

I am now considered a "senior"---I can get a discount at Joanne's; at TJ Maxx on Wednesday's and at Kroger's as well. I have outlived my mother and one sister and unlike some people who are even younger, I am in pretty good health. I can still dance!, can sing the latest songs, even those that I don't really understand; can run a race with my grandchildren and still work a 12 hour shift at the hospital (although I do whine a lot about it). Some say I really don't look my age and most days I don't feel it either.

All in all, I think I have been blessed! I wish I had more money (who doesn't); wish I really could retire (instead I am preparing to return to school); and wish I could buy a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes.

All my children are well and WORKING; my grandchildren are all doing well in school; my husband still says he loves me and my friends are there for me. I have a pretty good life! Here's wishing me many more years!!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

What Have I Been Up To Lately?




I have been alternately between working in a frenzy (starting a new quilt) to being so lethargic, all I can do is move from bed to sofa---there is a name for that, but I call it tired! To try to get my juices flowing again, I found a new quilt shoppe and went in to browse. I had seen the "Farmer's Market" line of fabs that are fruits and veggies and had thought about making a "New York Beauty" out of them---something different you know. Anyway, I purchased 15 FQ's and decided I needed something that was fast and "non-traditional" to take my mind off of things I should be completing. The fastest quilt I could think of was the "Turning Twenty" so that is what I made. The size I chose called for 16 FQ's which I didn't have, so I mixed in a green polka-dot. I think it looks pretty good----I am going to border it in the same green polka-dot and back it in a flannel that I have (red hot peppers). I think it will be a fun quilt to have in the upstairs den to snuggle in while watching television.
The other picture is of the quilt I am completing the quilting on. I am having "issues" with skipped stitches. I have re-timed the machine, changed needles, loosen the tension, etc. and although it is better, I am still getting skipped stitches. I am just going to plow on, going back to fill in and when I get an opportunity, have the dealer to come by and service the machine. Anyway, I am using a panto and although I would have like the thread to be not quite as dark, I think it is looking okay. My panto following is getting much better!!!! The is the quilt that was the Guild's "Mystery Day". It is my hand dyes (except for the grey) and is a scrappy purple and green.
School is coming to a close---I give my final tomorrow and then I will be out until Jan. 5. I intend to get some much needed rest. I am really tired, in body and spirit, so I am going to work really hard to rejuvenate myself!
Well, gotta go and do a bit of cleaning and washing before I get back to quilting. Take care and "see you soon".
xoxo

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving!




As the person in the family designated as the primary cook, I spent Thanksgiving cooking (as I am sure other "designated cooks" did). Every year I complain, but I want to continue the tradition of a homecooked meal. When I am cooking for a holiday, I make NOTHING from a mix, unless it is gravy---can't do gravy. This year though, I wanted us to eat early because my daughter, my DIL, a friend and her daughter and me were going to leave to do Thanksgiving shopping at 10 PM. I needed to get a little rest, so the plan was to eat early and then go to bed around 5PM. To accomplish this I needed to start cooking at 5AM, which I did. Everything turned out pretty good (I am a good cook, just don't really like to do it---would rather be quilting). We ate around 1 PM after our two oldest grandbabies got here.
Now for the shopping trip----it was cold and raining--yuk! As planned we met here and started out getting to our first stop Walmart, at 10:30. The store was already full! We had two electronic on our list---the $148 laptop (for my oldest granddaughter) and a DS (for my friend's granddaughter). My daughter got in line for the laptop and I in line for the DS. Now we were prepared for a long wait---since although you could purchase other things at 12 midnight, the electronics couldn't be purchased until 5 AM. I had my DS with me and a chair so I could sit. After we got there though the store had decided to give out wrist bands to those in line at 2 AM and then you could leave and come back at 5 AM to get the merchandise (a very good idea). All went well in the DS line--in fact they passed the bands out at 12 midnight (120 bands to the first 120 people in line) , but in the computer line, some guy named Q passed out too many bands for the number of computers (there were only 33 computers and he passed out twice the number). To stop the mounting anger of those in line with bands who clearly weren't going to get a computer, the company said they would honor their commitment and give rainchecks to people who didn't get one. Then some manager said that Walmart didn't give rainchecks and to stay in line---this went back and forth, but my daughter wasn't going anywhere. Anyway to make a long story short, we kept our place in line. My DIL stayed for the first hour while we left and did some shopping at another mall and then we all came back, taking turns standing in line while the other went about shopping for stuff on their list. We GOT the computer!
My birthday is coming up and I got myself a gift.......Sony Reader Pocket Edition. It was $98! compared to a higher price of $200 (I think). I am liking it. Now my husband is researching the Kindle (he always does that---get a better product---he doesn't know he will end up with a pink reader--LOL). I loaded some free books and purchased a Grisham novel. I love to read and love gadgets so this is perfect! I purchased the cover so it looks more like a book!
Now on the quilting front, my longarm is sick. The switch went out! You are suppose to be able to buy replacements at Radio Shack but we weren't able to find them so I had to order on line. Hopefully it will be here in week and I can get back to quilting.
Well, I think I am updated! Hope your holiday was a great one!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fond Memories!

I was reading "That Man Quilt's" Blog---see my sidebar. He writes beautifully and I always enjoy reading his posts. He wrote about a favorite memory on Wednesday, and I started thinking about a pleasant memory I had of a "way back event". My thoughts came to my mother. She died when I was 14 but I have nothing but fond memories about her. She really was a woman "before her time"---very modern in thought and actions. She never worked, but would have made a wonderful executive. She always wanted us to have experiences that in our little town in Oklahoma, was unusual. She spent quality time with us before that concept became "in vogue" and I can never remember coming home from school and not finding her waiting for me with a hug, "tell me about your day", and a snack to eat as I watched the "Micky Mouse Show". She made me feel that I could attain anything, as long as I was willing to work hard.

Anyway---we use to go for hikes. On Saturday mornings (my father was at work), after she finished her morning chores, we would pack a lunch (pressed ham sandwiches; chips; an apple) and head out on a hike. Because we lived in a "sorta" rural community, you didn't have to go far to come to some "woods". We would start out going down Johnson Street (where we lived) and soon we were walking down a road without houses. She would tell my brother and I stories about her growing up and along the way, tell us about the different flowers and trees we passed along the way. Soon we would come to the "perfect" spot, where we would stop and eat our lunch, again listening her tell us about her childhood or some other important event. I thought she was the wisest woman in the world---no one had lived the life she had. Soon we would turn around and start back home so she could "put on dinner" in preparation for my Dad coming home from work. As an adult, I know now that we probably only walked about 7 blocks, but it seemed like miles! To this day, when I eat a bag of Lay's chips I think about my mother. How I wish I could take another "hike" with her and listen to her stories.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Update!


In an earlier post I think I might have mentioned my latest dyeing experiment. In a quilting magazine from France there was a quilt pictured that had dyed center squares with oriental fabric framing it (in a log cabin style). The sashing was a navy cotton that reminded me of the antique Japanese work clothing I've seen on exhibit. Anyway, the center was dyed by wrapping the material around corks. My husband is a wine drinker and for some reason started saving corks (he rightfully saves anything that he thinks might be of use to me in either quilting or dyeing). The directions said to wrap 6.5 inch squares around the cork and then dye them. I did that, using rubber bands rather than string. The results are neat--each one slightly different.
I really would have preferred using African prints, but those are difficult to come by in Middle TN, so I used the orients like the original quilt. I am now in the process of putting it together. I am making it bigger (of course) so need to make 64 blocks. One thing I have found I should have done is really make my square larger, since as I was ironing the blocks after dyeing, there was some fraying. I didn't find a cotton I liked so I am using a light denim. I am liking it----I think it will be a really modern, non-traditional quilt. The pictures above show a couple of finished blocks and then what they look like with the denim sashing. Doesn't give you a really good picture, but it is better than it looks!
This is an absolutely beautiful fall day here. The sun is shining so bright and the weather is perfect. I know that pretty soon, dark, grey days of winter will be here. Have a great day!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

What's Up?!?!?


I haven't posted in a while---mainly because I have been really busy and once things settle a bit, I am too sleepy to sit at the computer. I have finished quite a lot of quilting---
  • I finished the two quilts I was quilting for Diane. I was going to put them in the mail today, but life got in the way, so I will mail them next week.
  • I put the three borders on the "Mystery Quilt". It is now ready for quilting along with "Red and Orange All Over"---AKA "Peaches and Berries".
  • I finished quilting a baby quilt for a co-worker who is expecting.
  • I finished one sock (pictured above).
  • I finished the toes on another pair I am knitting on one needle (also pictured above with the book I am using). I gave up quilting from the top down, and started from the toe up which seems a little easier. I am making each sock a different color (as the book suggest), so following the directions for sock A and sock B will be easier. Unfortunately, I am going to take these beginnings out, since I have holes where I increased. I can't understand the directions so I am going to increase another way and maybe I will not have holes. I followed the advice I was given and ordered a set of circle needles from KnitPick. It is much easier, but unfortunately, they don't have much of a choice in sizes. I did find another company which I will order from.

Since I finished a UFO, I now get the start on a "new" quilt. I already have several already cut out, so I just need to look through them and choice. Actually, I think I will start on a quilt for my nephew. I plan to give the "Mystery Quilt" to his daughter, I have already given one to his wife, so I think he is due. Diane sent me some really nice homespun, so I think I will use those. I may have to buy a few more, but I think homespun make really nice "masculine" quilts.

Well, that's all for now. I will try to take a picture of "Mystery" tomorrow. Pleasant dreams!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mystery Day!

O

On Saturday, our Guild had it's annual mystery day. The quilt above is the result. The block is called "mystery block". I used shades of green and purple (my hand dyes) and a grey for the background. I am going to add 3 more borders---a grey one (to float the pattern); a 2 inch green, and a 8 inch purple. Since I am using hand dyes, the green and purple borders will be scrappy, but I think it will look nice. As soon as I get them on I will post another picture. They is a lot of spaces for fancy quilting, but since that isn't my strong suit, I am going to use a busy panto (in grey so it doesn't compete with the quilt pattern.
I also finished quilting Diane's first quilt she sent me and have the second one on the frame now. I am using a panto for the second one and am nervous, since I really want it to turn out nice. So far though, it is looking pretty good.

Just wanted to check in-----I will keep you posted on the progress of the quilts. Have a great evening!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Trying to Learn A New Skill!

I am a regular reader of Mary's blog and Judy's Blog (see the sidebar). For some reason, every time I read that they are trying something new (or for that matter anyone), I always want to try it to, particularly if it involves buying a new gadget. Well, as you might remember, I started knitting socks (again!). Since I am self-taught, it takes me longer to finish one, not to mention two. I also knit on four needles and have unfortunately, the "one sock curse"---you finish one sock, but lose interest in the second one. I think I lose interest since I always forget to keep track of the number of rows and so it is always such a chore to measure all the time to get the socks the same size. Given all this, I read about the two aformentioned ladies knitting on a circular needle allowing you to knit two socks at the same time. I purchased the books (one for toe down and top down) and went to Joanne's to get a needle. First I couldn't find the 40 inch needle the books recommended. The 48 inch was just too long, so I got the 29 inch. I have cast on the stitches about 5 times and can't seem to get past knitting the first row on the first half of the first sock. I am getting very "strung out" and a headache----so I am going to put this down for now and do some more investigating. Boy when I go to the nursing home, there are going to be LOTS of stuff for a really nice garage sale!

HUGS!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

FINISHED!!!!!


Yep-----I FINALLY finished "Peaches and Berries"!! I am too happy! I am not going to put a border on it though---it is 84" wide which is a good size for my queen so adding a border would only delay my finish. I don't know why it took me so very long, but at this point it is done (I can't stopped saying that). Diane sent me a couple of quilts to quilt for her, so I am going to complete those, before I quilt it.


On to the next project!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Update!


What have I been up to? I am in the process of cutting all those shirts into strings (thank goodness for the GO!) I am cutting 1.5 and 2.5 strips. The top picture is the shirts I have yet to cut and the bottom is the strips (light and dark bin) after cutting. Then I will put those into Drunkard's Path blocks (again thanks to the GO!) After I finish this for a couple of more minutes, I will return to "Peaches and Berries". I now know why it takes me so long to finish a quilt----I work on several projects at the same time instead of just one. I just can't do it---I get distracted and then off I go. "Peaches" will get finished---just later than I thought.

I went to the Homecoming Game and guess who the Homecoming Queen was (as voted by the student body)? That's right---my Granddaughter!!!!!!! The dress was absolutely beautiful --- her mother did a great job. She looked so very beautiful! I did get a chance to go with her when she got her make-up done and although she was sure she didn't look "all that great"---clearly she did! It was such fun! I can't believe that she is 17 and getting ready to graduate from college--it seems like only yesterday I was holding her and teaching my daughter how to change her diaper :c)
Have a wonderful Sunday---it is Fall Break at school so I have Monday and Tuesday off! I still have lots to do around here but at least I don't have to go to work!







Friday, October 8, 2010

Hurt Feelings!

Okay---I know this blog is about quilting, but I also said that occasionally I would talk about life in general. Well, now is the time.

I normally don't talk much about my private life...one reason is it is rather dull, but also because I am a private person, but since I don't have a close friend here, I have to get it off my chest. My feelings are so hurt---

My granddaughter has been chosen for the Homecoming Court at her high school. She is a senior and so it is a big deal. I have always supported my children and grandchildren. When this one was little, she took dance and I came from Chicago and then Jacksonville for every single recital, even for the final rehearsal. I also flew in for any special occasion, just because that is the type of grandmother I am. Well, when my daughter told me about this, she also said she had to have a white formal. I found out where she could purchase one and asked if I could go along. I just wanted to be a part of this special day---anyway, my daughter said yes. Well, this morning she called and said that she and my granddaughter had already gone to get the dress. Now they went yesterday, I was home! Not once did anyone call and let me know they were going. She said they had to get the dress then because she had to take it to school today for the principal to see and determine if it was appropriate (sounds like a good idea). Anyway, I feel so hurt----all she needed to do was to have called me at the very least, but I think she didn't because I just might have been able to go.

Anyway, there is nothing that can be done---I will of course go to the game to see if she is voted in as queen---but my feelings are hurt! Thanks for listening! I am a big girl and I will put on my big girl panties and go on, but still---if any of you have mothers out there and something special is going on with their grandchildren, PLEASE allow them to share, especially if they asked and you said okay!

xoxo

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Catching Up!

The weather has gotten colder and so the sweater's have had to come out, including Coal's sweater. Doesn't he look "handsome"? He is such a "honey-bunny"!!!!! In looking at this picture---I think I need a new floor! I hate the dark grout--makes the floor look dirty---but then I digress.

This is the shopping area in the hotel where we stayed in Las Vegas. Isn't it beautiful! The ceiling is like the sky and it changes colors like times of the day. This was either early morning or early evening. The shops were great----and there was a canal that ran through the shopping area. I don't particularly like small boats, so we didn't ride in one, but the gondolas were "driven" by men who say opera----

I have finally finished all the blocks for "Peaches and Berries" ( I may change to name to "orange and purple all over")and I am now putting it together. I added some beige's to give it a little variety and tried to make it scrappy with different oranges, and plums. All of the fabric, except for the beige and white was hand dyed. It is a real task to try to lay out these blocks so I don't have to match a lot of seams. I am not going to add a border but instead put a "faux" piping binding on instead. The challenge will be to find pieces of hand dyes that are large enough and of the same color to accomplish this. I may end up either dyeing more (before it gets too cool) or maybe I will just do a scrappy binding and forgo the piping. I like the piping though because I can put it all on by machine and it looks really nice.
I spent the day cleaning house---boy I am getting old because in 5 hours I only finished the kitchen, den, guest bathroom and our bedroom. In the "olden" days I would have finished the entire house. Oh well, hopefully, I will clean our bathroom tonight while I am watching TV and finish up on Saturday. Hopefully I can keep the areas I have cleaned, clean.
Well, I am going to relax a little---my knee hurts! xoxo


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hey from Vegas!

I have been very busy and just got a chance to check in---even though it is at the end of the trip since I go home today. The conference has been great! Lots of good information and lots of goodies from the vendors (I am going home with three new totes full of pins, brochures, etc.) I even had some luck on the penny machines---about $7 in winnings :c) It is interesting how things have changed here. When my DH and I were last here about 7 or 8 years ago, you couldn't find penny machines in the hotels on the strip---the few they had were in the corner and seldom used. Now penny machines are everywhere and seem to be the most popular. Of course you can go as high as a quarter, but in my unofficial research, most people were playing penny's. The weather has been very hot 103 degrees when we got here but there is a small "cool down" expected today to 101. No quilt shops around here, but I found a call for nurse quilters on the bulletin board. A person is writing a paper on nurses who quilt, so of course I am going to contact her!

Just wanted to check in---I am a bit homesick and will be glad to get home tonight. The trip down was sorta trying---6 hours with nothing to eat but peanuts! This time DH and I have a short layover in Denver, so we will definitely get something else to eat.

"See" you later!

Friday, September 24, 2010

I Am Going On A Trip!!!!

I will be out of pocket for the next week. I am going to Las Vegas (!) to a nursing conference. It was originally scheduled for Nashville, but of course the "great flood" took care of that. It was rescheduled for Las Vegas and to be perfectly honest, I didn't think my University would send me. I was wrong! There is even more good news---I was making my hotel reservations and the host hotel was sold out. The young lady taking my reservations however put me in the hotel next door and gave me a 600 sq. foot suite!!!! My husband is also going---HE is going to have a vacation :c), but we are leaving tomorrow and the conference doesn't really start until Monday, so I will have a little vacation as well before the work starts. I love learning, so I will still enjoy myself even though I will not be hanging out with him.

On the quilting front---I need to make only 7 more blocks and I can start putting "Peaches and Berries" together. I didn't meet my goal since this has been such a busy week, but it has waited this long to be completed so it can wait a little longer.

Well, just wanted to let you know that although there will not be posts, I haven't abandoned blogland. Have a great week and I will "see" you around Thursday of next week!

xoxo

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Busy Sunday!




I worked yesterday and as usual, was absolutely exhausted!!!!! This is the only time I REALLY feel my age---after working a 12 hour shift at the hospital.
Anyway, I got up this morning and decided I would tackle one of my "binding" UFO's. If you have been reading my blog, you will know that one of the things that is sure to get my "whining" button turned on is to talk about binding. I decided to instead use my new found faux piping binding skill and bind a quilt. I had already sewn a binding on this quilt, but it was a different white than the quilt and I really didn't like it, so I cut it off and put another on. Since the faux binding allows me to put the entire thing on by machine, I finished it in no time. This is the completed work, so now I only really have 3 quilts left that I must bind. I am going to use the same technique and get them all done!!!!!
Hope your day is going well. I am going to fry some fish, make some spicy rice, some cornbread muffins and a veggie and try to rest for the remainder of the day. "See" you around the web!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Completing A UFO!




For every new quilt I begin and complete, I have decided to finish a UFO. I am working daily on "Peaches and Berries". I have completed all the small units and am now working on the larger ones. Once I get all four blocks finished, I will put them together into the larger block. I have now enough blocks for 5 rows and have 3 more rows of 7 blocks to go. I got the pattern from Judy's blog , but she finished her quilt in what seemed like 2 days. I have been working on mine for almost a year. I don't know how she completes her quilts so fast, but I am determined to finish putting the top together within the next week. I really like how my handdyes are looking and think this may end up being a favorite.

I have also included a picture of the last roses on my bush. There are two bushes and they are loaded down with these pink roses. Fall is in the air and it is like they are going for the last gusto!
Well, just a short note. Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog and for leaving me a comment every once in a while. It really helps to keep up my "blogging energy", to know that there is someone out there reading. I know though from the count that people are stopping by, but every now and then let me know you are out there :c) Take care and have a great evening!



Friday, September 10, 2010

A Gift!


I belong to two quilting guilds and one is having a meeting tomorrow. The first hour or so of the meeting is business, then some sort of program, and then we sew. The meeting is in a church education area and it is a long walk from the parking garage to the meeting space. When I went to the last meeting, I thought my arms would break! I had so much stuff and not enough arms. Anyway, I was complaining to my DH and see what he bought me! It is used to carry mechanic tools so they are sturdy--the bottom one has my featherweight; a box that contains extra needles, scissors, my rotary cutter etc.; a ruler; a extension cord/surge protector; my iron and the pillow for my chair. The little bag has the pieces of the quilt I am going to work on, and more scissors. There are pockets inside and outside so if I wanted to I could carry much more. All I will need to carry in my arms is my quilt for Show n' Tell and my pressing board. Isn't he a "honey bunny"!!!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Finally!!!!!





You have probably "heard" me mentioning that I absolutely HATE sewing down binding!!!!! While some quilters actually relish this part (it means they have completed a quilt), I find it tedious and not very stimulating at all. It usually takes me forever to finish and I even have trouble wearing a thimble (it makes my hand numb)....so I am generally not happy while doing it. I have two quilts now that have been completed for weeks, but they are still waiting for me because the binding has to be sewn down. I have tried to do it by machine, but honestly it really didn't look very nice and I do like nice looking finished quilts---I just don't like to finish them.
Anyway, I mentioned in my last post that a member of one of the on-line groups I belong to gave a link to a way to machine bind a quilt using a faux piping. It does take more steps than the usual binding, but I tried it and from the pictures you can see it is really nice (I posted large size pictures so you can see it a little better). It wasn't hard at all, and finished nicely. You have to be careful in sewing it down, because you are sewing in the ditch, but all in all it looked pretty good for my first time. I will have to work on the corners, but this quilt is for Cammerin who thinks everything his Mia (his name for me) quilts is wonderful :c) --- so he didn't notice nor care that in the corner the "piping" doesn't quite line up. I also think the quilt turned out really nice as well. It is a good mix of plaids and brights! I think I will make some pillowcases to match and probably redo the curtains in Cammerin's room as well. The backing if bright red and really blends in with the quilt. My tension was wonderful!---all is well with the world :c) I will certainly use this techniques to bind more quilts, at least the ones that are more utility than most. I still like the look of the "real" piping, and hand sewn binding---I will just save that technique for special quilts. The instructions can be found at http://tlcstitches.blogspot.com in the July 5, 2010 post.
Now that I have finished this one, I think I will work on the Berries and Cream that has been a WIP for quite a few months! I have enough blocks for 3 or 4 rows so it is half finished. Hopefully it will not take me too much longer.
Well, I think I will watch a little television before going to bed---I have to go to work tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by---"see you later", have a great remainder of the evening and a great tomorrow!
xoxo

Monday, September 6, 2010

Family Day/Labor Day!

Today was such a nice day! My son grilled steaks/chicken and a pork chop for me and did an excellent job!!!! I sometimes have to laugh when I think of him as a little boy! He was always hanging around the kitchen watching me cook. I told him he needed to learn to cook so he wouldn't always have to depend on some poor girl to cook for him, plus he might want to help out his wife every now and then. He is a pretty good cook---really likes to create dishes that usually taste pretty good. His wife is a good cook as well, but I am sure she enjoys the help every now and then. Anyway, he did the grilling, my daughter (who has NEVER cooked anything really in her life) made the potato salad, and it wasn't bad. She said that cooking it was very "stressful". She kept worrying about it, even standing over the potatoes as they cooked--:-) She has said she wants to make a pie at Christmas---umm--I will have to think about that :-). My son purchased a red velvet cake that was horrible so I made one. It didn't look so good (it was sorta lopsided---I am layer cake challenged), but it was yummy! He didn't realize that a red velvet cake is really a chocolate cake with red food coloring :-)

After dinner, I dyed 48 quilt squares (I tie dyed each one--different colors). I saw this quilt in some magazine--I think it is from Japan---and love it! My colors are much brighter, but I am anxious to see how it will turn out (sure hope each of these little squares dyes well).

I squared up "Cammy's Quilt" and am going to put on the binding with faux piping. A member of an internet group that I belong to shared a neat way of putting on a binding with the piping. It is all put on by machine, so I am anxious to try it and see how it goes. I was going to try on a baby quilt first, but I am going to go ahead and take the plunge and start with a big quilt.

Well, that was my day in a "nut shell". I am now tired and sleepy, but have to wash a load of clothes before settling in for the night! Have a great evening ---

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Forgot To Go To Work!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have you ever forgotten to go to work? Well yesterday I did---yea that's right--I forgot I had to work! I teach nursing, but two Saturday's a month I "moonlight" at a local hospital. I try to not schedule myself for two Saturday's in a row because those 12 hour shift's are murder on this aging body----even with the best shoes, at the end of the day I am beat!!!!! I work in a OB unit, so I may end up working in one of three areas, labor and delivery; newborn nursery; or postpartum---all of them require a LOT of walking, lifting, supporting, etc. Anyway, they all translate to a very busy day. I had worked last Saturday so why should I think I had to work yesterday---right?

I got up early yesterday morning to quilt and generally enjoy the day. My grandchildren and I had a date to clean house and everyone was excited (isn't it funny how little kids start out loving something that they will eventually rebell against---cleaning the bathroom). I was up at 5:00 and at the longarm. I had stopped and was sitting drinking coffee and sewing down a binding, looking at Law and Order. My cell phone rang and by the time I found it in the kitchen it had stopped ringing. I started to not call the number back, but thought even if it was a wrong number, for someone to call that early --- it was now 6:45 AM, it probably was an emergency and the person should know they had called a wrong number. I dialed it back, "Hi this is Patricia, did you just call my number?"----"Hey, this is Ali (my co-worker)"----"Hey Ali, what's up?"----a pregnant (excuse the pun) pause----"Am I suppose to be at work"----"Yea"----"oops, do you need me"---"well, yea, we have 15 on the floor, one in labor, and 14 babies in the nursery". "On my way".

I hurried there, and lucky for me, Officer Hurndon wasn't in his usual spot. Now it gets better. I get my patients (I was on the floor)------6 patients. I walk into the room to introduce myself (it is now 8:00--I should have been there at 6:45), I say, "Good morning, my name is Patricia and I am your nurse today". This woman loses it right before my eyes. ..."This food is horrible" (they had delivered breakfast)--"I hate grits and look what they served me---GRITS!!!!! I am going home right now, let me out of this place". I wanted to say, "I didn't cook your breakfast---and this is a hospital, what hospital has good food". I don't, I try very hard to calm her down. Her husband is cringing in the corner (words can't describe how out of control this woman is), I am trying hard to soothe her, she is shaking (geeze, it is only grits)....anyway, the person in charge wouldn't come down to her room to try to intercede (I don't blame her, wish I could have run myself), and to make a long story short, she does leave---to cook her breakfast at home without grits! I had to talk to the doctor ("what happen Patricia, didn't you offer to get her something else"---- "why didn't you make her stay until I got here"--what was I suppose to do, throw myself in front of her flip flop clad feet?) AND I had to write an incident report. I will probably get lectured about customer service and be blamed for a poor patient evaluation of the floor. Wish I had lied and said I was sick :-(. Plus when I got home I had an e-mail from the place where I had ordered shot cotton (I found a source---it was on sale for $3.50 yd) and they were all sold out. So my day wasn't a good one---not because of the screaming patient--but because the shot cotton was sold out!!!!!

Today is a new day! I am drinking coffee, watching Law and Order and have checked and I DON'T work today---so it will be a better day!!

xoxo

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

DONE!!!!

I finished "Cammy's Quilt" yesterday!!! It is really a nice quilt (if I may say so myself). Cammerin (who it is for) really likes it as well, and chose the backing (red tie-dyed flannel). This quilt is made totally from fabric I had! including the backing. I am going to use some of my handdyes as well for the binding, so other than the batting, I will not have to purchase anything---my kind of quilt. I plan to load it tomorrow and begin quilting---I think I will do a simple meandering---it is so busy, anything fancy will be "lost" I think. The next picture I post will be of a completed quilt! Thanks again for the encouragement!!!

xoxo

Friday, August 27, 2010

Progress!


Although I don't blog for comments--it is always nice to get some!!! I got two nice comments about my latest quilting project and it gave me such a rush----a rush to complete the project. We all quilt for our own pleasure I know and honestly, even if no one made a comment about my projects, I would still quilt---but when someone notices---well, it pushes me to finish.
After I finished doing some work on the computer, I completed the remainder of the blocks and started putting the quilt together. I have 5 more rows to go before it is complete and I am liking it!!!! It looks like my Grandson :c)---all bright and spontaneous! I have to work at the hospital tomorrow, so I probably will not get a chance to work on it again until Sunday afternoon, but it should be done by next week and ready for quilting.
Thanks for the encouragement! Keep it up---maybe it will push me to complete some of these UFO's :c)
xoxo
P/S: I just looked at the quilt again and it looks like there are a couple of blocks just "floating". The borders on those are pale green check homespun and a pale blue plaid homespun. Isn't it interesting how some fabrics photograph.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Latest Quilting Project!


Today I stayed home and sewed all day---well I did stop for an hour or so and vacuum the house---other than that, I had a really relaxing productive day! This is my latest "creation". It is a relatively simple quilt---for my grandson who has asked for a new quilt. At the Guild auction last year, I purchased a paper bag of homespun fat quarters. I don't know why I did---I really don't like homespun, but I got "caught up" :-). Anyway, since then I purchased a book of Kaffe quilts and this was one of the quilts in that book. Now I don't know about you, but although I absolutely LOVE Kaffe prints, I have a very hard time finding them. The quilt in the book used Kaffe "shot cotton" (I have NEVER ever seen this for sale around here) and Kaffe stripes. The quilt is my interpretation---homespun and my hand dyed fabric. I have also added a row so it will be a bit bigger since my Grandson's bed is queen size. It is comprised of 111 blocks---and they are almost all made!!! When I am doing mundane, repetitive sewing, I often stop and start to put the quilt together just to keep up my interest. The picture is reflective of what the quilt will look like. Rather than put together rows, I put four blocks together--essentially make two rows at the same time. Hopefully I will have all the blocks made and the rows pinned together.
Hope all is going well with you! Thanks so much for stopping by!
Patricia

Friday, August 13, 2010

My Sewing Space!!!!

My two featherweights---(love these machines) stored under the longarm table with various bins of scraps, and UFO's.
Looking out of my studio from the bay window toward the hall leading into the kitchen...notice the door I can close any time I want :c)


Bins filled with rulers, pre-cuts, thread, handdyes, etc. To the side, just out of the picture is magazines, and batting scraps (don't know why I can't throw those away).


Stand along shelfing filled with my radio, baskets of panto's, patterns, fabric, UFO's, bags, etc.


My sewing table--- up toward the ceiling is my television and DVD player so I can "watch" tv or video's as I quilt.

What do you think of my quilting studio? Does it look like I could be on an episode of "Horders"? This was once a formal dining room, but who uses a dining room these days--certainly not us--so I put it to good use. When I first moved in I felt like I had oodles of space. Now I am not so sure. It does look a bit unorganized, but I am about to begin another project and I am going to clean and get it in order. I really need more storage space, but I am afraid to really put things on the wall for fear it will fall down and make a hole in the wall....so I use lots of floor space for storage.
As you can see I have numerous sewing machines. One (the Brother) I piece on; the Viking is reserved for special piecing--ie: sewing on piping, fancy stitching, etc.; a embroidery machine for making labels, etc.. I also have a serger and a machine for doing blind heming left over from my garment sewing days. The first picture is of my two Featherweights that I use when I take classes or when the Guild has sewing days; and then of course there is Olivia, my longarm.
I once felt bad about the chaos, but there are doors that I can close, no one gains admittance unless they too are quilters, or close friends/family members so the unorganization doesn't bother them. It is my space and although it may be a put off to some, this is where my creative juices flow freely.
I just need to gather them up from the floor every now and then.
xoxo


Monday, August 9, 2010

Back Home!

We got back home last night, and are we all really weary! Poor Coal even isn't himself---- It was so very hot in Oklahoma--my goodness! It was as if we were in an oven. The services for my MIL were beautiful. She had 40 grandchildren and only 2 weren't there, one being our oldest son. Even one grandson came all the way from Iraq. I don't know how many great-grands she had.

A Granddaughter read the scriptures, another sang and a Great-granddaughter read a poem she wrote. It was so sweet! All together there were about 200 family members! It was clear from the attendance and the comments that people made, that she made a impact on a lot of people in her 96 years (I thought she was only 95) on this earth.

There was a lot of reconnecting and the younger cousins have decided to have a yearly reunion, so the next time we meet, it will be for a fun occasion and not such a sad one! They have a planning committee and everything. I just hope it isn't in August---Oklahoma is NOT the place to be during that month.

I am home for the next week and then school starts again. I plan to do some sewing, and of course more dyeing. It is just so very hot---I think I will get up really early and start.

Well just wanted to touch base! Take care and there will be more later!

xoxo

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Transitions!

Yesterday my mother-in-law of 35 years left this life after 95 years! I always said I wanted to be like her "when I grew up". She still lived alone, was of very sharp mind---it was wonderful to hear her talk about the many changes that had occurred in her lifetime--and only stopped driving because "other people don't drive as well as they once did". One of her most recent joys was being able to vote for the first black President and to ensure that would happen, I registered her as an absentee voter and she voted early---"Just in case because I surely want my vote to count". She began school riding a horse and saw microwaves, cell phones, computers, color televisions, space travel, alternative fuel cars, to name just a few things she saw "invented". It was mind-bogging to me to imagine how much she had seen the world change---although she would say, "the more the world changes, the more it seems the same". She said she really wished sometimes she had been born in a different time because she wanted so much to get an education to "work in a bank" or be a "nurse", but I honestly don't think she could have made a bigger impact than she did "just as she was". The last time I talked with her, when I asked her how she was feeling, she laughed and said "now Baby, how do you think a 95 year old woman feels------tired!" and laughed her infectious laugh.

She will truly be missed, and definitely has left her "print" on this earth, but she more than deserves her rest!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday's Thoughts---

As I was reading other blogs, it came to me----I often don't blog because I either don't have pictures or I don't have anything "quilty" to say. It occurred to me as I was reading other blogs, that I really don't have to always talk about quilty things---after all this is my blog and the purpose of it is to allow me an opportunity to share things about quilting certainly, but that doesn't stop me from digressing a bit. I can talk about other things as well. Since I really don't know who is reading this or not, it kind of gives me a freedom that I really should learn to take advantage of. If someone stops reading and goes to another blog, I will never know, so there is no way I can get hurt or embarrassed.

I plan to do that now. I am feeling a bit burdened right now---Lane calls it "a smile turned upside down". Like him, I try to look at things positively, although I must confess I am often more of a pessimist. I have found that I often expect little of people so I am not disappointed.

I don't know what has brought on this current "down in the dumps"---well I know, but I don't want to say. I am just so tired--of being a lot to others, but not always getting anything in return. I guess that is why I love quilting---it is a hobby that allows me to be creative, and have some control over what happens. These days I don't seem to have much control over anything--I know I am not the "Long Ranger"---a lot of people are feeling the same way. I know that things could be so much worst and I am really thankful that they aren't that bad, but it would sure be nice to have things all neat in a row and not have to do so much thinking and negotiating. Okay--thanks for allowing me to have a "little pity party"---I promise that I will be so much better tomorrow!

Hugs and have a great evening!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Summer Is Definitely Here!!!!





It has been so very hot here in Middle TN. Today it is over 100 but it feels like it is 200!!!! I am complaining, but to be honest, I would much rather be hot than cold---so actually, I guess, this is my favorite time of year.
Well, what have I been up to! I finished a couple of quilts----one for my Granddaughter, Marissa. That is pictured above. I finished quilting it in bright green, and then put bright green piping. I think it has really added to the quilt. Rather than bright green fabric, I used green grosgrain ribbon! It was much easier and although I have the piping tool, it really can be done without it if you use ribbon. I think it turned out pretty good given it was my first one. I also finished a "Turning Twenty" baby quilt for one of the girls I work with at the hospital. It is for a little boy and I used blue/yellow and red 30's. I am going to pipe it in red ribbon.

Of course I have been doing some dyeing. I have nine yards washing now and I must say, it appears that the colors are great. I had posted earlier that I think I found the secret. The secret to bright colors is to not add a lot of water to the dye color formula. What I do is add just enough water to result in one cup (if dyeing 1 yard) or less depending on how much fabric you are dyeing. I squeeze it through completely and then let it batch overnight. The colors are so bright. Hopefully this really is the trick since I love the bright colors!

I purchased this really great scrap quilt book and saw this great quilt made from old plaid shirts. I am a real fan of Bonnie Hunter and the quilts she makes from scraps, although I have never used recycled clothing, so off to Goodwill I went. I purchased about 25 shirts, some for as low as .25 and have cut them up. It is amazing how much fabric you can salvage. Essentially, I only threw away the cuffs, and the collar (although I used it on some shirts). The picture above is of the pieces I salvaged. I think I need some light color ones and when I get time I will go back to the Goodwill to look for some. The quilt is great looking and it has definitely moved up on my "To Do" list. I have a couple of quilts I have to finish first.
Thanks so much for stopping by to spend a couple of minutes. Have a great remainder of the day and the week-end. "Talk" to you later!!!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I Have Been So Very LAZY!!!!!!


I have been checking in regularly, but it has been so very HOT here that I haven't had the energy to think about writing something. When I get home from work, I get all tired out just walking from the car to the house! Still, I would rather be hot than cold.


I have been doing some quilting of course. Finished quilting my bright square quilt, it is called Marissa's Quilt, since it is for my granddaughter Marissa. I also put a bright green piping on it---it really added some zing! I also finished a baby quilt for one of the girls at work. I used the "Yellow Brick Road" pattern in blue and yellow. Somewhere along the way, I either didn't cut out some of the blocks, or cut too many of one, so I had to add another FQ. I added a red, like the border and it is looking kinda nice (picture to follow).
I also did some dyeing. Above is the pictures of the results of my labor. I am so glad that I dyed some half yard pieces, since I love the colors! Aren't the color's vibrate!!!! I think I have discovered the secret! I am going to try again next week and see if it works again and then I will share it! I was just playing around and so really didn't dye as much as I wanted, nor in the colorways, but I do like the way these look--BTW, it looks like I need a new ironing board cover :-(
Well, just wanted to check in---thanks so much for being patient with me! I will try to do better! Have a great week!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I Am Having So Much Fun!!!!

Diane is visiting from Florida and we are having so much fun!!! We have visited 3 quilt shops (are about to leave for another in a little while) and of course, have done our share of helping the budget here in TN. We also went to a Debbie Caffey trunk show and class that my guild hosted this week-end. Both were fantastic!!!! The class was a technique one rather than really making a entire quilt and it was so worth it. If you ever get a chance to attend one of her classes, do go. For those of you who don't know her, she is actually the person who first began to use 2.5 strips for quilts and talked Moda into selling them. She called them "worms". She teaches all kinds of great ways to use your "worms"/jelly rolls--ways to cut them, neat rulers to use, etc. I can't wait to try one of the quilts in the book I purchased.

Just wanted to drop by and say hi! No pictures unfortunately, but when you are having fun, who has time for pictures.

Hugs! enjoy the remainder of your Sunday!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My latest!


Please forgive me for being so delinquent in posting. I have "checked in" every day, but to be perfectly honest, I really haven't had anything interesting to post about.
I am pretty busy getting the house "in order" for Diane's visit next week. I must be getting old, or maybe it is the hot weather, but it seems to take me all day to complete one room, when I once could clean the entire house in just a couple of hours. I am going to tackle the areas I haven't gotten yet this afternoon. I also don't want to start too early since it will just be yuk again by the time she comes on Wednesday.
The picture is of the quilt I am currently quilting. I actually finished the quilt top last year and started quilting it in a variegated thread. It was horrible, so I proceeded to take it out. You know how awful it is to remove quilting, so I laid it aside, working on it every now and then. I finally completed taking the quilting out last week :-(
I am going to give this one to one of my granddaughters. She is 13 and wanted a quilt with black, pink, green and yellow (I think). This quilt fills the bill---lots of bright colors and it just looks like a teen would love it. I am quilting it in bright green, which makes me a bit apprehensive since the pattern really shows on the black, but I am forging on----it is my hope it will look nice and my slightly off lines will be okay. I purchased a bright lime green to bind it in, so I think it will be cute---sans the wobbly lines of quilting. I am using the "Square Spiral" quilting panto (I think that is the name) that so many of you like. I think it will be great with this quilt since the square spiral is great complement to the pattern. BTW, all of the fabrics are my hand dyes (except the black). The backing is fabric with flip flops, again so appropriate since this granddaughter lives in Florida!
Well, just wanted to check in! Hope you Sunday is a great one (and Happy Father's Day to any Dad's who are reading my blog).

Saturday, June 12, 2010

My Week In Review!

I have actually been pretty busy this past week---besides work (of course)! In the quilting arena:
  • I finished quilting my 30's Snowball/Nine Patch (I need to think of a name). I got to the end and my border was a bit wavy. I sprayed it down with some water---patted it in place, and the waviness "quilted out" pretty good. I need to square it up and put on the binding.
  • I started sewing the binding down on the Amy Butler (I remember one of the fabric lines)/"Kaffe-like" quilt (need to name that one).
  • Decided to not change the white binding on the nine-patch. I was just too lazy to take it all off and start over---so I mitered my corners and I need to stitch that binding down...it will be okay!
  • Cut out another quilt with my GO!. It is in a Kaffee-book and I am using some homespun and my hand-dyes. I will show you a picture soon.
  • Worked on my "Peaches/Berries" blocks. I again am wondering why it is taking me so long to complete this quilt and Judy made hers in like a day! I am NOT going to put a border on this one. It is made from my hand-dyes and it would be much too hard to match the fabs (I think)....plus I think it will be fine without a border.
  • I am also "hand-quilting"---yes you read right a small art quilt I made. I am using the "big stitch" and although my husband can't really "see" it right now, I think it is looking pretty good. When I started quilting I noticed some areas that weren't quite lined up, but hey, it's a art quilt so it is okay to not be exact....at least I think so!

I also planted some flowers out front. It is blazing out there and although I started at about 7AM by the time I finished about 3 hours later, I wasn't really feeling very good :-( Because of that, I have been moving in slow motion all day. My DIL had weeded the beds a couple of weeks ago, but it looked like we hadn't touched it so I had to do a lot of weed pulling. I guess I am a "weeny"---can't handle manual labor!!!

Have a great remainder of the day---"See" you later!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

"Planting Time"!




I might have mentioned that our youngest son and his family are living with us temporarily (they have moved from Florida). My son works at night and his wife during the day. While my son sleeps, my husband has been "babysitting" their two children (7 and 8) along with our oldest grandson (he is 9). My husband was "whining" about babysitting----"all I have done all day is fix snacks and referee disagreements". Well, guess what I did when our FIVE kids were little (and still do on occasion)? In addition, I also worked a full-time job, went to nursing school full-time, cleaned the house, washed and ironed clothes, helped the kids with homework, fixed meals, plus a dozen other things too numerous to mention. Anyway----today I didn't have to work (I still work full time, clean the house, fix meals, referee fights, etc.), so I "babysat" the kids. We went to Home Depot to get some flowers. They were really cheap ($2), mainly because they looked half-dead. We picked out the best looking ones, came home and gave them some water (they perked right up) and then my granddaughter and I put them in pots (the boys will help me to plant the roses and put the other plants in the ground out front). Anyway, my granddaughter evaluated the deck as "better than perfect"---she is the 7 year old. How wonderful is that!!!! -----and thus far I haven't had to referee one fight----must have something to do with who is "babysitting"---




Have a great remainder of the day!


xoxo

Sunday, May 30, 2010

What Have I Been Up To?????






I haven't posted in a week!!!!!! It hasn't been because I haven't been busy or checking in every day to read other's blogs---I have just been lazy! I am determined though to not let that become a habit---that is how you end up not being current with your blog and then before you know it you lose followers and then you stop blogging all together. I really like this process---so I am going to get it into gear.
Now for news---I have been dyeing of course. Last week my brights really weren't very bright. I think it was because I didn't use salt in the water and I put them out in the sun. Some dyers have good results without salt and the sun seems to set the fabrics. I ended up however with these light spots---like they had faded in the sun. As I thought about the process I used, it was probably because the entire fabric piece wasn't submersed in the solution and the part left sticking out was what was faded. I redyed those pieces and added salt and didn't put them out. They turned out much better. The picture above is of the ones I have ironed and the pieces left in my basket that still need ironing. I am going to dye more brights next week. The batch I redyed was in deeper jewel colors. BTW---the picture gives the impression that the basket is a regular size one, it really isn't, but a small one, almost minature. I haven't really been dyeing that much...:-)
I also have pictures of the quilts I have started and my goal is to finish these before I start another one.....the blue/neutral applecore; strip tube quilt; and the paintbox quilt. I figure if I post a picture and I can see first hand what I need to accomplish, I will stay on target. Of course I have found another quilt I want to make---but I can't keep starting all these quilts and never finish one. I think actually I am going to finish the "Peaches and Berry" first. I dyed more orange and plum for that one and actually I have quite a few blocks done, so maybe that finish will be my catalyst to complete the others.
I am also going to take that white binding off the quilt I showed a picture of. It looks "tacky" and because of that I haven't been able to force myself to even begin to sew the binding down. I will take it off tonight while watching TV and put on another one tomorrow, as well as finish binding the other quilt I finished. I only have about 3 more passes on the quilt I am quilting and then I will be finished with that and will not have any tops left that I need to quilt---so I am making some headway in that area.
It is going to be really hot today---a perfect dyeing day, but I worked yesterday and am pooped so I will stay in and finish some of my quilting chores. Have a great Sunday and we'll "talk" later!
xoxo