Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What Have I Been Up To?????

I have been one busy quilter! First---I finished UFO #6 completely!!!!!! I quilted it AND put the binding on!!!! I now just need to hand stitch it down, which I have already begun. The quilting really turned out nicely---don't you think? I though see one mistake I made. I normally quilt with pale grey thread, and I automatically kept it in the needle when I began to put the blocks together. I did change to a white but didn't take the other seams out---I didn't think you would see them. I do see a couple of seams that are sewn with grey thread. I am NOT going to take them out, clearly, but hope when I wash the quilt, the crinkle will make the seam less noticeable. If not, oh well---I will just keep it for myself and make another quilt to gift.
I also have been making bread--doesn't that loaf look good? It tasted pretty good as well. I do love this machine! A couple of loaves I made fell, but I have figured out the problem. I was using Walmart brand bread flour--I got the name brand and haven't had the same problem. Don't know if it was the flour or something I was doing wrong. Hope that never happens again, it is so sad to go through all that, have the house smell wonderful, just to get a loaf that is sunken in the middle.
Now, I normally don't "get on my soap box" very often, but since this is my blog, I figure I can "rank and rave" about something a little. If you don't want to read about it--it is okay, you can "disconnect", if you read on, just like good friends do, it isn't necessary to comment---just listen. So-------Because I am a nurse, I take prevention very seriously. As a result, I try to get my annual exam every year to make sure "all is well". Since I am getting a "little long in the tooth", there were more invasive tests I had to take. Now I thought I had good health insurance, I pay almost $500 per month for coverage for my husband and I. The plan and company changed this year and my husband and I looked over the plan and chose one (we thought) that didn't have a high deductible since we knew that statistically we would be using it more given our age. I went in to get my test and the physician's office said I would have to pay out of pocket for the test---almost $1000 because my deductable was $1500. What I said! There is a mistake! I went immediately to the HR dept. to point out the mistake. Ha! I was the one that was mistaken. I have a $1500 deductible (it seems that is the lowest this insurance company has), and even when that is met, I am still responsible for 20%---and remember I am still paying almost $500 a month. Since I couldn't afford all the test, I elected to only take the one that I could afford since I had to write a check.
Now at the same time Coal got sick. He went in to have his teeth cleaned and ended up with IV's etc. Now he has health insurance as well (he is high maintenance) and his hospital procedures costs more than my test. Guess what his deductable is-----$20. Now what is wrong with this picture! Of course, I have to have more tests because there was a abnormal result--so more money. I have such mixed feeling, the more test I have to take, the quicker I will get my deductible met, but also that means something is wrong.
4 inches of snow is expected tonight. Maybe I will have an extra day to sew! I am suppose to go to have follow-up test tomorrow, so if I don't go, that means I will have extra money to buy fabric---oops, no I will not. I have to meet that deductible!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What's Up?!?!??

Quite a lot has been going on since my last post.
As you might remember in previous postings, two of our adult children had moved back home, one with his wife and two children. Well, both have now moved to their own homes. One graduated from technical college and is not only working at a local company but has started his own little company on the side. He is doing pretty good---he hasn't asked to borrow money and in fact paid half of the costs (with my daughter) of getting my longarm repaired! The other son and his family moved last week into their own place. The house is quiet now, although I will certainly see them often, and I have been spending time putting everything back together again.
I have also had "the" annual physical exam yuk! As you get older, there are more places to look for problems. At this point everything has been turning out okay, so I am good for another year it would seem. It has been an ordeal though---goodness I hate "preps".
I (of course) have been busy quilting. I have decided to do some quilting for some friends (I am NOT starting a quilting business), so I am trying to get my own latest quilting project done. Of course because I want to hurry---all kinds of things are stopping me---broken threads, tv shows, blogging, etc., so I am not moving as fast as I would like. I am a little nervous about it because when I make mistakes on my stuff it is no big deal, but I don't want to mess up someone's creation, especially since they will be paying me for it. These friends are forgiving though, so hopefully if I do a "oops", it will not be a big deal. I am taking very few quilts because my life is pretty busy and I don't want to get a quilt in and then not be able to have a quick turn-around, plus I am still a novice so I am taking it slowly.
The block above is the latest Civil War Block---well not really. The actual block was applique (!) which I DO NOT DO! so I made another one. This block was really pretty complicated, it took me a couple of days to complete it, but I really like it. As I mentioned, I am making my blocks 12 inches instead of the 8 inch, since I don't do "little" either.
Well, gotta go vacuum, and work on my quilt. Take care and thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

FINISH #1 OF 2011 (UFO #6)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Diamonds In" is completed!!!!! I am so very glad I kept the white/beige background. It really allows the diamonds to stand out and makes this a very contemporary quilt. The only challenge---since I used a jelly roll of 45 strips, there is some repeats---nothing I can do about it. I did add a couple of orphan strips so that helped a bit. It is queen size and isn't asking for a border. I am going to have a look in my stash for a appropriate binding. I think as I have been doing a lot lately, I will do a faux piping so I can bind it by machine---we'll see. This is a GREAT first finish. Since there is a lot of "white" space, again, I will use a busy panto. I am thinking of keeping the one I already have loaded. The round edges of it should go well with the sharp corners of the diamonds. I feel pretty good!!!

I am ready for the Feb. UFO for sure----oops better not get too "cocky"----I have quite a few UFO's on that list that will not be as easy or fun to finish!


Monday, January 10, 2011

Design Wall Monday!

I really don't have a "Design Wall", but rather in this case, the picture is of my "Design Table" AKA my longarm table. I have finished all 100 blocks for my #6 UFO, and had begun to put them together, actually into 5 rows, but then didn't like how it looked, so I am taking them apart and putting them into this design. I actually think it will really look better. Because I used the almost white solid, the triangles will really stand out, looking much more graphic. I think I am going to gift this quilt-----if it looks nice enough after I have quilted it. That is the thing with gifting, if I keep a quilt I don't mind so much the "creative errors" that occur, but when I gift it I want to be as perfect as possible. Since there will be a lot of "white space", I am looking through my panto's for a "busy" one that will fill the spaces, yet not overpower the pattern (I don't do "custom"). Check Patchwork Times for the other "walls". I will try to link my wall, but for some reason I still continue to be "link challenged".

No school today!!!!!! We got about 3 inches of snow last night and there are still snow showers....see the pictures above of my backyard---we back up to a "forest". More snow is to move in tonight, so I may have another day at home tomorrow. I plan to sew, but I still need to get some work done for school. Thank goodness for computers since I can work effectively at home meeting my deadlines. My first day of lecture will be Thursday and I am all ready for that, so hopefully I will get some "guiltless" quilting done.
Have a great day! Stay warm and safe!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

More Progress!

I have accomplished a lot since I last posted:
  • I completed 30 more blocks for a total of 80!!!! 20 more to go and I can start putting the quilt together.
  • I have finished quilting AND binding "Asian Indigo"---see picture above. It turned out pretty good even though I was a bit anxious at first---one of the borders looked like it had stretched out, but I think it was the way I had it pinned to the leaders.
  • I am participating with the Civil War block a week. Pictured are the first two blocks. The Civil War period is NOT my favorite and I am not particularly partial to the fabs, but the stories that Barbara B. tells in conjunction with the release of the blocks is very interesting and compelling. At one time I was trying to quilt "outside my comfort zone" and purchased some CW's and I made the Underground Railroad Quilt, so I find that I have quite a few CW's after all. I plan to make red my central color---each block will have a shade of red in it so hopefully it will not be as drab as some CW's look to me. Because I don't "do small", I am making my blocks 12 inch rather than the 8 inch that is being posted.

So, this is what I have been up to. Hope your week-end is progressing well!


Monday, January 3, 2011


50 blocks made, 50 more to go!!!! #6 on my UFO Challenge list is coming right along! I decided to go ahead and use the muslin since several pieces were already cut out and I don't want to add "pieces" to my stash.
I also started a Zig-Zag Quilt from the Kaffee book. I am using all my hand dyes---and my GO! cutter. This is going to take a bit of time I think. I plan to have it as a on-going project....NOT to become a UFO. I am planning to try to use up as much of my hand dyes as possible, so when the dyeing season (temperatures at least 70 degrees in the garage) comes, I will not be only adding to stash, but replenishing.
Have a great day!!!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Project #1 of UFO Challenge----#6!

Judy drew the first number for the UFO Challenge and it was #6. On my list that is the strip tube quilt. I have 4 blocks already made. I am going to mull over it today because I am thinking about changing the solid from boring unbleached muslin to a color. I think I will like that more----just to find the right color in my stash since I am NOT going out to buy any new fabric. I am adding that as my own personal requirement. My UFO's must be finished with what I already have in stash unless I absolutely must buy something and then only for a border. I intend to use what I have even for backing. Maynot "match", but I will be getting rid of stash as well as the UFO.

She also has another challenge---monochromatic challenge. She randomly draws a color and then the challenge is to use that color to make a quilt. The first color was yellow---I couldn't participate even if I had the time since I have almost NO yellow in my stash. Isn't that interesting---now if she choose purple or red or green or even orange, I maybe could do it. Oh well, I am saved from adding yet more quilts to my UFO rather than finishing them.

Hope your day will be a wonderful one. I intend to get some sewing/quilting in as I watch the Twilight marathon and Law and Order. Quite a combination huh :c). I am cooking and dinner should actually be done by noon, so as people want to eat, they can just go in and help themselves. I will put the bread on in a minute---decided to not fix a dessert---just ice cream. My effort to drop some weight begins tomorrow, so today I intend to not worry about one thing....remember, what you do today will be what you will be doing all year!