Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Christmas Day was a wonderful one! Grandbabies got almost everything on their list----thank goodness their wishes were moderate. It did however result in a LOT of packages giving the impression that this family along, has significantly helped the economy! Of course there were "wheels" for everyone (the children of course)---bikes for the two little ones, and a scooter for the older one. The two girls got electronics---a IPad (for the college girl) and a Blackberry tablet (for the next older one). I must say, I have a daughter who is the "Shopping Queen"! I wouldn't have believed the deals she got had I not seen the price tags. Also, thank goodness for "layaway". She is now getting ready for next Christmas :c)!
Now, the evening began and things didn't go so well. We were all dancing to the Kinect---Dance 3 and I was beating my daughter when my husband yelled down that our middle son was "sick". He had told my two grandsons he was "sick" and had collapsed. He was complaining of classic cardiac signs---crushing pain in his chest; pain radiating into his jaw; nausea (with later vomiting); and difficulty breathing. I gave him aspirin (EVERYONE should have aspirin in the house) and took his blood pressure which was VERY high with a VERY fast heart rate. 911 was called and he is now on a cardiac floor in the hospital. Oh yes, he is diabetic, and his blood sugar was 583! I had been asking him everyday he was here, how his blood sugar was, trying to watch what he was eating---he claims it was my cranberry sauce (even the doctor had to laugh at that)---although I am sure it didn't help.
Now what is the moral to this story----everyone should really begin the New Year with a evaluation of their entire life and life style. My son is only 42, but had he been alone at home, or worst yet driving back home (he was going to leave yesterday), the outcome could have been much worst. He has a wonderful sense of humor and of course is trying hard to make lite of this, but I will NOT allow him to. My resolution is to not only quilt as much as possible, but to really make some healthy changes in my life. More fresh veggies, more fish and chicken, more well balanced meals all around. I am also going to value my family and my time on this earth. Try really hard to not "sweat the small stuff" and move on! I will "live by example"---when my son gets home from the hospital, I feel sorry for him :c). I am not taking his word for anything---I want to see those blood sugars myself...and I sure hope he likes unsweetened yogurt, blueberries and low fat granola---because that is his breakfast menu! And instead of cranberry sauce I make, I will have raw cranberry and orange chuckney (sp) next year!
Have a blessed and productive day!
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
- making sugar cookies on Christmas eve with my Mother and using the Christmas Tree cookie cutter.
- Waking up on Christmas morning to the smell of turkey. My Mother cooked the turkey all night in a really low oven. When she took it out it was the most beautiful brown! I have never been able to duplicate that color---probably because I cook mine in a roaster.
- Putting out the sugar cookies for "Santa" and then getting up in the morning to see a bit of cookie left with a obvious bite taken out. I (of course) didn't eat that piece of cookie left (you do NOT eat after people---I was thinking like a nurse even then), but I do remember smelling it. I guess I thought Santa left a definite smell---but all I was able to distinguish was the faint smell of cinnamon from the cookie.
- I remember my Mother's rolls. So light---it seemed they melted in your mouth. I have her recipe and use to make them---but now I can't find cake yeast and so have had to resort to another one that is good, but not nearly as much as my Mother's.
- Going to see my Grandmother. She lived to be over 100 and seemed always old. She held "court" at her house (I don't know why she didn't come to dinner) and my Mother would fix her a plate of food and we would make the pilgrimage. She wasn't particularly a loving Grandmother (I don't ever really remember her hugging me) and my cousin and I have agreed that she really didn't like any of us---but we went anyway. She always spoke in a very low voice and we gave her chocolate covered cherries (which I hate). She would always take them with a small smile (I always felt I should curtsy) and we would sit and be quiet (no running around in Grandmother's house) while my Mother spoke in hushed tones until my Dad said, "Okay Mother, is there anything you need, we will be going now". I was so happy to be outside where my brother and I would race home (we lived within walking distance).
- I also remember the Christmas I got a bicycle -- it was red I think and my Daddy told the story of Santa being chased around the house by JoJo (our dog) who was upset with the reindeer and the bright red suit.
- I also remember eating at the dining room table---a place reserved for special occasions, and drinking from my Mother's crystal goblets. I have some of those (when she died my sister's split her set and left me some---I was only 14). I know they are not real crystal, but to me they always will be. I don't take them out---one was broken and I stopped, but I always look at them and remember.
I am working really hard as many of you are, to create special memories for my grandchildren and add to our children's memories---and mine as well. At this point I think I am doing pretty good. Definitely they will remember "Mai" (what my grands call me) and "Poppie's" (my DH) hugs and kisses, unlike my Grandmother's (we called her the formal Grandmother) lack of...I never met my Grandfather (he died before I was born), but I hear he was in fact a "hugger"---wish I had been a recipient...but that is another story for another day.
Have a great remainder of the day!
Sunday, December 18, 2011
I continue to clean----I am telling you, I must be getting old. I can remember when I could clean my house in a morning---now it takes me all day to do one room! It could be because I am easily distracted and I have been known to set on the side of the bed reading a magazine (quilting of course), from a pile that I was suppose to be rearranging or worst yet, throwing away. Our oldest son and his wife are arriving on Thursday morning, so at least I have the guest bedroom and bath all clean and smelling good. The door is closed and grand babies know that it is off limits! Now I have our bedroom and bath to clean--then it will be time to start all over again to have the house looking nice for our son. In between I am trying to get a friends quilt quilted and do a little of my own quilting done. Oh well, "such is life".
I was looking over my list of quilts I completed and I completed 19! Wow, that is an average of more than 1 per month. Pretty good huh! Included in these were some UFO's. Unfortunately, for every UFO I completed, I added 2 more! I am working really hard to complete my "Lego" quilt ("Spontaneous Combustion") before the New Year. I completed 4 blocks today, but honestly don't know how many more I have to go. I am about half finished, so hopefully I can get them done within the remaining 2 weeks. I know I will not have it quilted, but I am really liking this quilt and an anxious to see it in its finished glory.
Well, the Grands put up "the children's" tree today and will return tomorrow to put up the "formal" tree. I am going to bake some cookies and will hopefully have pictures to share tomorrow.
Take care and "see" you tomorrow!
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
Thursday, December 8, 2011
I have a husband who loves me and wants to make me happy, never complaining (much) about all my quilting "tools" I want and usually end up getting; five plus one (my nephew) kids, who also love me and try really hard to be supportive---saying always great things about my quilts, regardless to what they "really" look like and who call me an "artist"; grandchildren who think no one is better than their "Mai" and who don't understand the concept of not having quilts to snuggle in; friends who again, provide me with the support and drive to keep trying (Diane especially), and providing that other perspective in a loving and empowering way; and I have a job that is meaningful and students who will one day literally save a person's life, supported by the information I have imparted to them. How great is that!!!!
My health is good, considering I am officially long pass middle-age and although I am considered a "senior citizen", I don't think I look like it and I sure don't feel like it. God has been good to me and my family and I truly feel I am "blessed and highly favored". I look forward to the coming years with anticipation knowing that rather than not accomplishing what I thought I wanted, I will accomplish what has already been ordained for me---and my hope is to make a positive impact somewhere.
Happy birthday to me! I am going to try to quilt a little, although that might be hard since the contractors are due to start tearing up the floors. I think I will go to a bakery and buy cupcakes and have a celebration with my grandbabies. No work for me today-----
Have a wonderful day in celebration of MY day!
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Friday, December 2, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Bonnie Hunter has a invitation to talk about your first quilt. I never can figure out the "linky" process, so I am not going to even try, but I started thinking about my first quilt.
I have been quilting for about 18 years. I started making my own clothes when I was 12 and in fact my very first job was taking some clothes that a neighbor had and cutting them down for her niece. I think I was about 13. I had begun sewing much younger than that with doll clothes though, made from scraps that my mother had left over from her quilting. My mother was a quilter in the same vein as Gee Bend quilters. Her quilts were made to keep us warm. They were colorful and asymmetrical and to me wondrous. She used cardboard templates and I don't remember her talking about or teaching me to quilt. I would sit with her and she would cut and sew the squares together. She didn't stress consistency or patterns, we just put pieces together. I remember green and red squares--how bright and free it seemed. How you could take a piece of fabric and cut it up and then put it back together was wonderful to me.
I grew up in a tiny Oklahoma town where I began taking Home Economics in the 3rd Grade. Included in Home Ec. was cooking and sewing classes, so I became very familiar with these skills. So familiar that at one time I wanted to be a Home Ec teacher. We really didn't quilt in class though, focusing more on clothing. My teacher was Mrs. Jackson, who always had the most beautiful clothes, all things she made. I aspired to be as gifted as she with the needle and thread. I took Home Ec throughout high school, again without coming in contact with quilts, but changed my major at the last minute to sociology.
Fast forward to 18 years ago. I had been reading about quilts, had purchased books and had become a theorist, but not actually really quilted. I don't remember what attracted me to quilting, but my husband would tease me about buying all these magazines. By nature I am a researcher first, learning all I can about a technique/skill/art/craft before I actually try it. I had even purchased a ruler, more to have something to put the concept of a 1/4 inch seam into reality, since as a dressmaker I worked with 5/8 inch seams. Our daughter had gotten married and informed us we were to become grandparents for the first time. I also love history, and the concept of making something that my grandchild could attribute to me even after I was no longer, was a wonderful thing to me----so I began to make a quilt for this grandchild who turned out to be a granddaughter. I did it alone---I had no one to consult---just my books. We were living in Chicago, so I went to Vogue Fabrics, where I choose a pattern that was simple (it was ranked "beginner) and began. It was made of gingham-----green/yellow/pink/and red. A simple 4-patch. I also made bumper pads and a white eyelet crib skirt. I knew nothing about machine quilting, so I hand quilted it in simple lines outlining each block. My granddaughter still has that quilt! I thought it was beautiful---and looking back, it really was pretty good for a first quilt.
I didn't make anymore quilts, but continued to buy magazine/books AND rulers. About 4 years later while living in Chicago, one of the women I worked with shared with me that her Mother was a quilter. I met this lady and now I had someone to talk to about quilting. I began to investigate and found a quilting guild that I joined. I also took a class at Vogue fabrics --- a log cabin quilt that I tied. Instead of yarn, I used thin ribbon! I then tacked my first "real" quilt. It was a blue and yellow Irish Chain, with bleached white muslin as the background. I used a sheet for the backing and the mother of my friend machine quilted it. She didn't charge me money, but instead asked to 3 packs of batting---poly. The quilting wasn't fancy, simple lines, but it fit the quilt perfectly. That is when I discovered how "cutting challenged" I am. I thought I had cut all those little squares correctly (they finished at about 1.5 inches) but some looked a little small. I didn't really realize that was a problem so I pushed on, and the lady who quilted it didn't tell me any different. I didn't find out about accuracy until I had gone to some meetings at the guild and discovered that all blocks should be the same size---"oh" I thought.
I never could really appreciate little quilts, since remember, I am from the belief that quilts are suppose to be used, so even from the very first quilt (it was king size) I made large bed quilts. I still have that first quilt somewhere (I will find it and post a picture), but clearly as I look at my quilts, I have progressed and I am pleased! I also didn't realize you should only buy quilt shop quality fabrics, since I purchased fabrics where ever I found some that I liked. I still do that---I am more aware of quality, but I have certainly purchased some fabrics at Wally World that held up better than some quilt shop "quality" fabrics, so I continue to look and purchase what I like, in spite of where it is. I also don't pre-wash---again, I don't remember reading or being taught I should when I started quilting. That issue has only surfaced lately. I admit, I am lazy and busy, so I am not going to wash fabric for no reason. It just seems redundant to wash all the sizing from fabrics and then put it back in with starch. I have to honestly say that although I don't pre-wash, I haven't had a real problem with bleeding.
I don't really sew clothing anymore. I am almost exclusively a quilter. Quilting has brought me in contact with some wonderful people. I think generally we are a sharing and affirming group. I think that is so interesting since quilting can be a solitary art, yet when we get together, even when in line at Joanne's waiting for fabric to be cut, it isn't unusual for us to strike up a conversation that on the surface looks like we have known each other for years, when in fact we have only just met and may never see each other again. What other art/craft/hobby does that occur in?
I love my art!!!!! It is my hope and prayer I am able to do it for a very long time. It makes me smile to realize that my quilts will be something members of my linage will have to connect me to them, even if we have never officially met----sorta like the "Time Traveler".
Have a great day! Thanks for stopping by---unless you leave an email, I can't contact you to officially thank you---but know I appreciate the time you take to read my ramblings!
Saturday, November 26, 2011
We joined the throngs of people and went shopping at Thanksgiving. It was a marathon to be sure!!!! It was 8 of us, all mothers and daughters (my daughter and I, her daughter -- she is now 18 and so has "earned" a spot, my niece and her daughter, and a friend and her daughter). We left at 8pm on Thanksgiving night, and returned the next day at 3pm!!!!! I gotta tell you, I think I might have bit off more than I could reasonably chew. I was so tired, that I went straight to bed and except for getting up once to referee a disagreement between grandchildren, I slept soundly. Now you ask, did we get deals----YES we got deals!!!! The people weren't too bad, but I must admit, I do NOT intend to go to Wally World next year! The salespeople were disorganized and were enforcing the rules with some customers and with others weren't (we were in the group where the rules were enforced)!!! At any rate, I did enjoy my time with the "girls" and will add this to my list of accomplishments---actually staying up for 34 hours!!!!!
I (of course) went to Joanne's and purchased (about 40 yards) flannel for quilt backings. The fabric was $1.49/yard, so I got a good deal. I was little too tired to look over the store, but plan to go on Sunday and see what else is available.
At any rate-----just wanted to check in!
Friday, November 18, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
I also finished putting on the borders for my other Guild mystery! It isn't nearly as big as I would want, but it is a nice lap quilt. I am going to use Baptist Fans to quilt it and put a chocolate flannel on back. A real "manly" quilt.
I am now going to go back to "Spontaneous Combustion" and complete it. No new quilts will be started until after the New Year, but I will use the remaining two months to finish up some of these UFO's. I can't say they will all get quilted, but certainly, I am going to bring them to that stage.
Well, that is all I have to share. Have a great week-end!
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
I have to float this top since I am doing a machine trauputo (sp?) with the plates. It is NOT going smoothly, but I am too stubborn to stop---too much work went into this. The back looks horrible, but since I am not entering in a judged show, I am using this exercise as a learning lesson.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
No more "organic" for me! I think I am going to do my "water" stipple and be done with it. I don't like this quilt now and would love to make another, but I don't have time, so I will push on! Just thinking about it gives me a headache! :c) Even DH who usually likes everything I make turned his nose up at it and said "that one is different", translation "that is pretty bad".
Friday, October 21, 2011
I finished the baby quilt quilted with the concentric circles. My camera battery was losing power but I think you can see the circles. I just quilted them on randomly and in a variety of sizes depending on the space available. I think it turned out well and will make some little baby happy. The CL made it really easy to do. The squares look larger than they are, but are really only 5 inches set on the diagonal with sashing between. A quick quilt and great for practice.
Next I am going to go for the gusto and load my guild challenge. It is due at the December meeting so I am going to give myself plenty of time to finish. I will not be able to show a picture of that as I quilt since some of my guild sisters read my blog. Keep positive thoughts coming my way that I do a good job. I am learning a new term---"organic" quilting for quilting that is free form and not necessarily perfect. I anticipate that the quilt will have LOTS of "organic" quilting :c)!
Talk to you later!
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
These are the big boards and the three templates I ordered. Such a pretty, bright color.
The actual Circle Lord.
The Circle Lord installed on my table. It wasn't hard at all (maybe since I had been studying for months in preparation for ordering. I had a little difficulty installing the laser light from my machine to the CL stylus, but when I stepped back and let DH help, it went much smoother---I don't have to do everything I guess---LOL.
I got another special delivery as well. Life has been a bit rough of late and I was commiserating with my best ever buddy, Diane. Look at what she sent me to cheer me up a little!!! Such a surprise!!!! She is the best sister ever!!! Thank you Diane, they are beautiful!!!
Friday, 10/14/2011, By End of Day
This was the message that I got from UPS tracking!!!!! My Circle Lord is HERE!!!!!! "Be still my beating heart". Unfortunately, as you all know, delivery for UPS could be as late as 7PM---so I intend to station myself in my sewing room by the bay windows all day! I am too excited!!!!!!!
Friday, October 7, 2011
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Monday, September 5, 2011
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
NOW---on to the new project!!!!
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Crumb blocks! I literally just picked fabric up from the floor (from the picture below you can see I have LOTS of fabric on the floor----LOL). I did these to give myself a little rest and I like how they look. I think that with each project I may just make a couple of these blocks from the scraps (since I can't seem to throw any of it away). Who knows, in a little while I could have enough for a quilt.
What have I been up to? Actually a lot---I crossed something off my "Bucket List". I ran in a 5K race!!! Well, not really a race for me or my daughter but we finished it!!!! Not as #1 (of course) but not as LAST either!!!!! It was great fun! and we even ran about half of it. My ankle started to bother me a little so I had to fast walk the remainder (and I was walking as fast as some people were jogging). They had little girls giving water along the way (it is really hard to drink water AND jog at the same time). I even tossed it to the side like the professionals do LOL!!! Anyway, we finished in a decent time (a little over 45 minutes) and I feel like I have accomplished a lot!
On the sewing front---I am putting the "Paint Box Quilt" together now. All the rows have been completed (10 rows of 8) and it looks nice. I am using a linen for the sashing and although I have to be careful of the ravelling, it is a nice contrast with the block fabrics. After I finish I think I will do a simple meandering. I actually really like meandering (or stippling) on quilts. I imagine that once washed, the linen will crinkle nicely so I am going to do the quilting "tight".
Today is a rainy day and although I really should be cleaning----I just don't want to. I am going to try really hard to relax. School begins next week, but my class doesn't start until the following week. I have already started to put my PowerPoint together and even have made up the first test. I am really going to try to stay ahead of the game, even more so than I had before. For some reason I have been feeling stressed and even a bit melancholy, don't know why, but I do know I really don't like it, so I am going to try to take charge. My DIL is a Herbalist, so she has put me on some herbs to help, so once they get here, I will add them to my regime and see how it goes.
Well, I am going to my "very messy" quilting "studio" and see what I can do. The cable is off due to the storm, so I think I will put on a couple of CD's. Have a wonderful, productive and blessed Sunday. "See" you later!
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
Have you checked my visitor meter? I am seeing some interesting places come up! Wow---I have had to Google some of them to find out where they are!! Thank you so much for visiting!!! I don't get a lot of comments, but when I look at the meter, I know that people are visiting.
More later!!! Stay cool!