Thursday, September 30, 2010

A matched set

Here is a picture of the finished baby quilt and the doll set. The doll quilt was made from the waste triangles/squares from the block units on the baby quilt.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Here's a couple of close up pictures of the machine quilting I did on the pink baby quilt. I did the quilting on the front, but was really pleased with the way it looks on the back too. All I need to do to finish it is the binding.

Here's a picture of a little doll I made out of muslin. I just kind of winged it with the dress. The hair was something I was leary about doing but I am pleased with how it turned out. The face I just drew on using pigma pens. I am by no means an artist when it comes to drawing!

The last picture is a little dolly quilt I have pieced and ready to quilt. The machine quilting won't take too long in it since it is so small.

I am really psyched about doing more machine quilting now that I have proven to myself that I can do it successfully! I went to Springfield today to take the test for a state job in case one should open up (I would have my hat in the ring, so to speak). While there I stopped at JoAnn Fabrics and picked up three cotton batts. I'm thinking I'll do that blue top that was the New Year's Eve Mystery.

Johanna and I went to Tilley's and had supper tonight. I had chicken wings and fries. Brought a blt wrap home for Ev for supper. No cooking!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Just do it

I think I get what Nike meant now... I decided to 'just do it' and started machine quilting on the baby quilt. I finished the practice quilt as my warm up. Decided to do an allover loopy pattern for the quilting. It's very simple, very forgiving, and very easy. I have about a third of the quilt quilted and I am really feeling good about it! This is a big deal to me and if it's successful, I think I may just go on and put one of the other tops together and quilt it next.

Tomorrow I am taking the day off to go to Springfield. I should be back in town before noon. I'm going to take my old Kenmore with me and on the way home swing by the new shop that repairs machines. I'll just drop her off and then pick her up when she's done. I hate to do it, but the clutch issue has become too much of an aggravation to ignore anymore.

I set up Gram's old machine in place of my Kenmore. I intend to make a small dolly quilt and a little dolly dress for that ten inch muslin doll I made a while back. I want to give it, along with the quilt, to the neighbor across the street and her little girl. The neighbor is due to deliver any time now. I have seen her little girl playing with dolls so I think she will like this one. I started to put some yarn on it for hair tonight. I'm leary about drawing the face on, but again, I have to 'just do it'!

Kitty came through with flying colors. I didn't expect anything else. Ivy didn't take her eyes off of Shadow for the first couple hours they were together again today! I think she was worried about her yesterday!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pressing, pinning and practice

Monday's I usually don't get any quilting or sewing done. Usually I am just too tired to do anything when I get home from work. Tonight should have been no exception, especially since I got no sleep last night. But, surprisingly enough, I went upstairs and worked in the sewing room for over an hour. I pressed the pink baby quilt top, then pressed the backing fabric. I pinned the layers so it is all ready to start quilting. Then I did some practice machine quilting. I am actually feeling pretty comfortable at the old Singer now. I still fidget with the tension because it just doesn't seem to be right, but it's close. Real close, so I'm going to go with it. The throat on the machine is 10", so I know I can do a baby quilt easily. Tomorrow I may just jump right in there and do the baby quilt. I have the bobbins threaded with the varigated thread, have the machine threaded, and have a new needle in it.

Johanna is doing better. She still cries some over Ben, but she is showing interest in going out and seeing others.

Nick has to work tomorrow night, so I guess I'll see a little of him and a lot of his laundry tomorrow.

Wednesday I'm planning to take a trip to Springfield to take the state tests again. I had a grade in but it's only good for one year and it will expire on the first of October.

Took the kitten to the vet this morning to get fixed. She is spending the night and we will pick her up tomorrow. Ivy has been real clingy tonight, even going so far as to jump in my lap and bury her head in between me and the chair. I guess she forgot that she already had her trip to the vet and is worried she could be next!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pink top done

Here's the pink baby quilt top. I'm not sure if I want to put a border on it or not, but I am leaning towards not. I have a cute pink material with baby bottles on it for the back. I also have a varigated thread to use on the machine quilting. It's a light group of colors including pink and purple. I am bound and determined to just do the free motion quilting on the old Singer. Whatever it looks like when it is done, I think it will be okay.

I am not too thrilled with the block pattern. Glad I made a baby quilt before jumping into a full size one like I was thinking of doing. I need to find a good block pattern to make a masculine quilt. The block itself wasn't difficult, but I didn't like the way it was difficult to match all the corners and points when putting the individual blocks into rows and then putting the rows together.

I did practice some more machine quilting. That practice piece I have been working on looks pretty disjointed as far as the quilting goes, but it's not a museum piece. When it's done I am going to finish off the edges and let one of the animals use it.

The Bolt

Here's a picture of the fabrics I bought yesterday. There is the bolt of white and green of course, then three yards of the others. I particularly liked the green and red materials because they are darks and could be used together. The light with tan patterns was real cute and I also liked the blue alot. The folded fabs were around three bucks a yard.

I put together a pot of chili. It's cooking away right now. Nick is still upstairs sleeping. He has to work at 3. I have the 16 squares for the pink baby quilt done and brought them downstairs with the iron. I'm going to go ahead and press them down here, then when he leaves for work, I will go upstairs and sew.

When I went to turn on my laptop this morning it would not turn on. Nick did some magic on it and it turned right on. I don't know what's going on, but I am going to call the manufacturer tomorrow. It's not even a year old.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Buggies everywhere!

This was so true today! Donna and I went to Arthur, IL, about a 2 and a half hour drive away. There is an Amish settlement in that area and we like to visit the shops and restaurants. We started out by having breakfast at a wonderful restaurant there. They had a buffet and on it were these to-die-for pecan rolls. Oh, they were just heavenly!

We then walked around downtown Arthur, going in shops here and there. We went into a quilt shop, and antique shop, a music shop, and a cheese shop. We got some fudge and cheese in these shops.

Then we drove to another quilt shop where I picked up a cookbook. We went to the bulk foods store and I stocked up on herbs and spices, along with cinnamon rolls and caramels for the kids.

Our last stop was a dry goods store where I bought fabric. And oh, did I buy fabric.... They had some material on sale, so I got a little of this and a little of that. Then I saw THE BOLT. Yes, it called my name, dear readers. It is a white material with a smallish green pattern shot through it. Cotton, of course. It was hiding in a corner and was marked (are you sitting down?) $1 per yard! It was a full bolt of fabric! I took it to the counter and brazenly asked about how many yards she thought was on THE BOLT. Giving a rough estimate, the very nice clerk told me she estimated 22 yards at least. I asked how much for the whole bolt. She hemmed a bit and hawed, started at $20 then said how about $18? Feeling guilty for knocking down the price of it when she was practically giving it away already, I said $18 sounded good, and I will take it!

So, I figure every quilt I make until I die will probably have some of this material in it! haha. Or I can get at least 4 good sized quilt backs out of it, maybe more. It was a good day!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Tomorrow is the day

Excited about going to Arthur. Got the map out today to plan our route there. Looking forward to going to the dry goods store and getting some material. I think I'll get the material for one of the boy baby quilts there.

Didn't go upstairs to sew this morning. I haven't been up there yet this evening either. Kind of tired tonight. Went to dinner with Lori. Made spaghetti and took it up to Nick at the LAN party. Johanna texted and said she was out with the girls.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

25% there

I have completed 4 of the 16 blocks I need for this baby quilt. I like the pattern of the blocks. I'm thinking, depending on how the blocks come out, there may even be a chance for a secondary pattern. I went upstairs before work and got the pieces pressed. Then tonight I went up and sewed for about an hour. I would have had more than just four blocks done except I put one together and started putting the second together when I realized my seam allowance was off and ripped them apart and started again. Ahhh, the infamous frog it, rip it!

Johanna is still a mess. She is working tonight. I'm hoping she comes home and gets a good night's sleep. She just needs time.

Nick worked tonight. He just called and is going to make a couple stops before here, then going back to Springfield. He has a test in music tomorrow at 11. I just promised him Chipotle's for lunch if he gets better than a 90% on the test. Yes, I am bribing him and I'm not ashamed to say it!

It's been windy all day and it is finally cooling down. It was in the 90's again today, this first full day of Fall. Tomorrow it's only supposed to be in the 70's. I'm ready for the cooler weather, big time.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pretty in pink

The colors are not really showing up well in this picture, but they are all different pink materials I have sewn squares to and trimmed. They are ready to be pressed then sewn together with another square of white into blocks. I feel good about what I accomplished today.

Tomorrow Johanna works in the evening, so I hope to get the blocks put together when I get home from work. The old Kenmore is having it's clutch issues more and more frequently. I think I'm going to have to break down and set up Gram's machine and take mine into the shop.

Donna came over tonight to watch the season premier of Criminal Minds. It was a good one and it was kind of fun to have someone here during the show who is a fan also. Silly, I know, we are both grown women. But a gal has to have fun somehow! haha.

Done cutting

I have all the squares and rectangles cut for the baby quilt. Started to sew them together. Been working upstairs for over two hours, so I thought I would come down and take a break. Might put dinner on to cook and get that out of the way.

Nick called. The gal from Georgia is trying to move up here into an apartment to be close to Nick. This is just way too much. I'm praying this situation resolves itself soon. Trying to guide Nick in the right direction. I do not understand her parents at all. Why would you send your child so far away from you to strangers?

Back from my errands

I'm back from doing some errands. Going to have a little lunch then get busy sewing! It looks like it might want to rain. Will be a good day to be upstairs listening to the rain on the roof.

Playing hooky

Sort of playing hooky today. Could have gone to work, but just didn't feel like it. Ev left for work at 11 today and Johanna had classes starting at 11, so I'm by myself for the rest of the day until she gets home around 7. I'm going to do a little running and then planning on sewing the afternoon away! Doesn't that sound like fun? It does to me!

Really looking forward to Saturday and going to Arthur with Donna.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hate to see my baby in pain

I really hate to see my daughter going through this break up. She is at work tonight and she just texted me that when she was on lunch she went to call Ben just like nothing was wrong, then she remembered and it really hurt and made her sad and want to cry. I told her this will get better, but it's so hard to see past the pain today. Ahhh, this too shall pass, baby girl...

It was hot again today. 92 degrees in the end of September. I so want it to snow...

Got new tires put on the car this morning. Sure makes a difference in the way the car drives. Since I had to leave a little earlier this morning I didn't get to sew or cut anything. I did go upstairs for about 20 minutes tonight and cut some more squares for the baby quilt. I had made a meat loaf for supper and that heat from the oven just went right up the steps and hung around at the top by the sewing room. 20 minutes was all I could take of the heat. Came back down and took my second shower of the day.

Going to let the dogs in and then go to bed. Work has been such a drag. I know I should not complain because I am very lucky to have a job. Just in a little funk right now, I guess.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tired Monday

I'm always so tired on Monday evenings. I didn't get any sewing or cutting done when I got home from work. I did manage to cut a few pieces for the baby quilt this morning before work. Hoping to get more cut tomorrow morning, but not sure I will have time since I have to leave early tomorrow morning to take the car in for new tires. Will have to stop to get my mechanics donuts before I go to the shop.

It got pretty warm today, probably up to 90. I'm hoping this is just Summer's last hurrah. I'm so tired of hot weather.

Johanna is doing okay. Not great, but okay. And I think this time it's really over with Ben. As much as it hurts her, she recognizes it's the way it has to be. I hope so, anyway.

I'm going to bed. Just too tired to keep my eyes open.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Back in the fold

Well, my darling Johanna is back home. I'm very happy about this. It was not working with Ben and hadn't been for a long time. She needed to come home and move on. She brought Miss Kitty with her. Ev's not nuts about that, but it's okay. This cat was here last time she moved back and gets along with Wrigley and Cheetah. Ivy hasn't been around her, but I don't think there will be a problem.

I rearranged the sewing room. Slowly I had been migrating sewing room stuff into Johanna's bedroom. I had taken my 3 drawer carts with material in them and put them in her room. Well, I just wheeled them back and moved some furniture around. I have some other containers I had slowly been organizing into bins that as soon as they are emptied will make more room, too.

In quilt related business, I picked some pink materials out to make a 16 block baby quilt out of a mystery block pattern. The blocks can be made in different sizes. For the baby quilt I'm going to make nine inch blocks. If I like the way the blocks look and the pattern comes together, I'm going to make a big quilt with that block out of men's shirtings.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Winery visit

Here's a picture of the finished log cabin top and also a picture of some practice free motion quilting I did today. The quilting was done on the old Singer and I'm still having some tension issues with it, but working on it!
We went to a winery in a small town not too far from home tonight with Bill and Diane. We liked it a lot. They have sheep free grazing to keep the weeds down and while we were there they herded them into the pen for the night. It was really neat to see! They also board horses at the winery, so we did see a few horses in the stables, but not up close.

While Ev and I were coming home from Litchfield this morning we took the country way and passed a house with a picket fence that had goats in the front yard! I had Ev turn around so I could take a picture but by the time we got back there the goats had moved into the back yard and onto the porch of the house! It was too far away to get a clear picture, but it was funny to see.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I forgot I sewed before work this morning!

It must have been a really long day today. Tonight I went upstairs to press the final border on the log cabin quilt. I did that, then did some straightening up. I also set up a big table behind the old Singer. Gearing up for trying my hand at more machine quilting. Anyway, when I was done upstairs, I went to write down the time I spent up there this evening and I realized that this morning I had been up there for almost an hour! It was a long day, and I'm glad it's over. Also glad this week is over.

So I set up that big table. Now I need to clear off the table that is on the side of the machine. I am going to do a practice piece of just muslin. I hope to get the basics down, even though I have done this before, I'm rusty at it. Then I want to machine quilt the baby top I have finished.

While cleaning up I found a mystery quilt kit I made a while ago. I cut the pieces and saved it all together in a big plastic bag with the instructions and extra material. I think I might hold off making that for now. Maybe I will kit up a couple things for our Paducah trip in April!

Nick stopped by for about an hour. He had an upset stomach and I made him some soup. He seemed to feel better after that, although I think one of the reasons he didn't feel well is because he was nervous that I was going to be upset with him over a conversation we had about school a few days ago. Not so, and he left in a good mood to go see his buddy's and plan a computer party.

Here's a pic of the border of the log cabin. Tomorrow I'll try and get a pic of the whole top and post it.

Went to the bar and grill uptown and got fried fish for dinner. It is not sitting well with me. Too greasy. ugh.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

One more border to go

One more border to go! The log cabin has two borders done and one more to go. I'm starting to wonder if I have enough of the last material to make the final border. Going to have to measure it really well before I start it. If there isn't enough, I have some other material to mix in with it, even though I don't want to do that.

It's funny how I get a quilt project in my head and just have to get moving on it. The log cabin was started last year in July at Woodhaven when we were on vacation. I pulled it out and just had to finish it. Now, I have to get that last border on it so I can start the next top. It's going to be one of the mystery quilt blocks. Can't remember the number of it right now, but I have a good idea what I want to make it with. I want to make it with recycled men's shirts and muslin. But first, I'm thinking of making a baby quilt with the block just to get the feel for it and make sure I like it before committing to a big quilt. The baby quilt would be made with new fabrics, of course. The neighbor across the street is going to have a baby girl within the next few weeks and I really would like to make a quick quilt for her.

Ev said he is scheduled to work Saturday, but that they might call him off. That does happen alot, but I am really hoping they don't. When he is at work on the weekends two things happen. One, I stick to my diet so much better, and two, I get a lot of sewing done!

One more day til Friday

I'm ready for this week to be over. I think I say that every week, though, except when I'm on vacation.... Not this Saturday, but next Saturday Donna and I are planning a trip out to Arthur to visit the Amish shops. I'm looking forward to that. This is just going to be a day trip. We are still planning to go back there in mid November to the outlet mall and Amish shops and spend the night. That will be a lot of fun, too.

I'm going upstairs in a little bit to press the log cabin top and hopefully get at least one more border on it. I'm anxious to have this top finished and be able to move on to another one.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

One border done, two to go

I ended up going back upstairs for almost an hour and putting one of the borders on the log cabin. It looks nice and I'm anxious to get it all finished. I need to press it before adding the next border. Hope to get that done tomorrow.

I think the dogs are trying to kill me.... They both came upstairs right before I was ready to come back downstairs. I shoo shooed them out of the room and down the steps. Well, the danged dogs would go down two steps and stop. I'd have to nudge them in the butt, then they would go down another two steps and stop. Two big black dogs blocking the steps pose a problem. I couldn't get around them. The did go down the steps, eventually. Maybe they were just playing a game, to see how they could best aggravate me. I guess they figure since the kids aren't home, they need to take over the job.... agh.

Mid week blahs

It's Wednesday night after work and I just don't feel like doing anything! I put some frozen fish and fries in the oven for Ev. Made myself a bbq sandwich. I don't have much room to eat anything else tonight, so I'm holding out to have an ice cream bar later, then I'll be done.

I went upstairs for half an hour this morning before work. I cut some strips for the border and sewed the ends together on one color. I am making three borders on it. That is, unless I get one or two done and don't like it....haha.

I really like to watch Criminal Minds reruns on the cable stations. I was thinking on my way home from work, I should really be sewing on Tennessee August all those hours I'm watching CM! I probably could have finished it by now! I'm psyching myself up to do some hand quilting, can you tell?

Today I officially started my Christmas shopping! I saw an item on sale that I have wanted to get for my mom and since it is pay day, I went ahead and got it. And promptly left her a voice mail teasing her about it...heeheehee.

Nick seems to be doing well at school this semester. He joined another ensemble today for jazz and is excited about it. I will be so happy if this is for real and he gets good grades! I'm thinking he will. Oh, and he SHAVED today! He shaved that yucky beard thing and the scraggly side burns! Made my day!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Center of log cabin finished

I got up a few minutes early today and took a quicker than usual shower (which means I didn't stand as long under the water half asleep for several minutes while my brain processed that I was upright). Then I went upstairs and sewed the rest of the rows of the log cabin together. I was done before I had to leave for work, but I left a little early anyway because I needed to stop at IGA before work. Still have to put the borders on it. I may or may not get upstairs to do that tonight, but the odds are that I won't. I'm kinda pooped out.

I stopped at IGA to get some reduced fat peanut butter. I have had a taste for a good old fashioned peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I had that for lunch and it was only 3 points. I still cringe at the amount of fat in the peanut butter, even the reduced fat kind, but when all I had was a tablespoon, I can justify that.

For dinner I just had a few tortillas and veggies again. I made Ev some liver and onions. (yuck) There is absolutely no temptation at all for me there.

Nick is working tonight, so I'm doing his laundry. He will stop by after work and before he goes back to Springfield and pick it up.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Three rows together, three to go!

I didn't get to sew much tonight, but I did get three of the six rows of the log cabin put together. It won't take long to put the other rows together, then put the border on. Not completely sure what I'll be doing for a border. I don't want to take away from the simplicity of the lines in the blocks and in the barn raising setting.

I've got to start thinking about a baby quilt for Lori's daughter. She is due in December. I have one top done that I am thinking of giving her. She is having a boy and it would be suitable. Not sure which direction I will go with that yet.

Didn't really cook tonight. I picked up some breaded chicken strips from the deli. Made chicken bacon ranch sandwiches for Ev. We used to have those a lot and he liked them. I didn't have one because of the points. My dinner may sound strange, but it was good and I liked it. I had three corn tortillas, with an ear of corn's worth of corn roasted with a couple green onions, tomato and salsa on them. Pretty good, really. And filling. Had pizza for lunch, which was too much. But one of my old co workers was back in the office for the day so we all went out to lunch.

Ev has a union meeting tonight after work.

I have had a really bad pain in my big toe on the right foot. I'm wondering if it's arthritis. Seems like it feels better if I soak in a hot tub. I hope my toes don't try to do like Gram V's did - she had horrible hammer toes. Maybe I should go see a podiatrist. Ugh.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Just not happening

Well, I really wanted to finish that log cabin top today, but it's just not going to happen. Del came over after supper and we all sat and watched some football. Then I did get upstairs for half an hour and pressed the seams on the rows of the log cabin. All I need to do now is sew the rows together and put a border on it. I think I will use the dark pink for the border, or at least one of the borders if I make more than one.

In doing a little blog surfing today I realized it is Grandparent's Day. I have texted my kids to remind them, the rest is up to them. I'm a little sad because this is my first Grandparent's Day without a grandparent, although I do think this is just a Hallmark holiday to sell cards. A few days ago I posted about my grandmothers and great grandmother. I didn't mention much about my grandfathers. They were all good men. Some other day I will talk about them, but to all the grandparents out there I hope you had a blessed and happy holiday today! I am looking forward to a time well into the future when I get a card on this holiday!

I'm tired and am going to turn the t.v. on and watch t.v. in bed. Ivy is already snuggled in at my feet and sleeping like a baby. Must be her clear conscience allowing her to sleep so easily!

I'm full

We just got back from the little bar and grill uptown. Ev had a couple beers and a huge cheeseburger. I had iced tea and a blt wrap sandwich. Delbert went with us. We rode the motorcycles. I didn't mind riding up on the bike because it's only about five blocks from home. The food was real good and I'm stuffed to the gills. Back on the diet tomorrow!

Before supper, I went upstairs and sewed the squares all into rows for the log cabin quilt. I need to get up there and press them, then sew the rows together. I want to get it done tonight yet.

I'm getting quite a nice collection of tops finished. Maybe I'll try to do a little bit of hand quilting some time soon, too. I have had Tennessee August in the hoop for a long time.

When I took Uncle Ray the coffee cake, he gave me a few tomatoes and a few fresh apples off his tree. Most of the apple off the tree had bad spots on them this year. He's been peeling and slicing apples for the freezer (translates to pies for the winter). The apples that are good for eating he sets aside and eats or gives away. I would have taken a few more, but Johanna was my big apple eater and she didn't want to come back for some today.

Decisions, decisions

I have decided, with a little help from Ev and Johanna, that I will put the log cabin blocks in a barn raising setting. I had made 38 blocks, but only needed 36. In the mix of colors, there were some blocks that had a darker pink for one of the inner rounds. Rather than just mix them in randomly, they looked really nice when I put them on the corners and in the middle. The only problem is that I was 2 short of the dark colored ones, so I'm remaking 2 of the blocks. Not a big deal. I have ripped and just need to cut two strips and go up and sew those blocks. I have laid out the quilt and have the squares stacked up and ready to be sewn into rows.

Made a really easy coffee cake from scratch this morning. It's pretty simple and uses pie filling. It has some lemon in it, just a hint, and a crumble topping. Ev and Johanna liked it. I took a big chunk of it over to Uncle Ray.

Johanna and Ben stopped over for a few minutes today. They were going to his mom's and had their dog with them. It was in a crate so he let him out and we let Ivy out and they ran all over the yard. Ivy got along with Jax real well.

I don't feel like cooking. Ev just had a couple blt's. They were easy to make because I had microwave bacon. Tonight we are just going uptown and picking up something quick, I guess.

I really really really want a longarm machine.... sigh. Someday.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Saturday night

I finished sewing the log cabin blocks today. They are all pressed and ready to be set into rows. I'd like to get that done tomorrow. Today I sewed for 5-1/2 hours! And I loved every minute of it!

Went to my dad's and had dinner. It was pretty good stuff and a nice party. Not dieting today, that's for sure!

Saturday morning

Been up for a while and finished sewing the colored side of the log cabin blocks. Need to trim and press them, then put the last two strips on each block for the light side. They should be finished this weekend, maybe even today. I have a couple ways to set them in mind. Going to lay them out and see which one I like best.

Ev's just rolling out of bed. When he's had a shower and is ready we will head out for breakfast. Hopefully we will be able to get a table somewhere today without having to drive all over creation!

I'm back to my pre-vacation weight as of today! That makes me feel good. I feel like I can start moving forward again.

Johanna called me at 7:30 this morning, to tell me that their sewer was backing up again. Ben had to work, but he was able to get it routed out a little before he left. Sounds like they are going to have one heck of a time with that.

Nick called last night. He didn't come home but was wanting one of his buddies phone numbers because he wanted to get a group to play some game. He has to work today at 3. I'm pretty sure he is staying here tonight.

We had quite a storm last night with a lot of rain, thunder, and lightening. It looks like it's going to be clear this morning. I hope so. Ev wants to go on a poker run and my dad is having that beef in the ground.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Round and round I go

I'm on the last round of the colored side of the log cabin blocks. I've used different colors in a couple of the rounds, so that all the blocks are not identical. On the last round of the block, I'm making the colors be all the same on both the colored and light sides of the block. I have a slight problem with doing that on the light colored side because I will be a little short of material. I think I can work it out if I make a few adjustments.

I was able to go upstairs and sew for 20 minutes before work and then again for over an hour tonight. Ivy and Wrigley followed me up one time. I guess old Ivy must have hidden it some time earlier, but Wrigs found a pigs ear chewie in the couch upstairs. She pulled that out and you should have seen the look on Ivy's face! She just didn't know what to make of it!

Tomorrow my dad is having a party at his house. Every year he does this 'beef in the ground' thing where he cooks beef in a buried pit. I will have to take some pics and put them on the blog. The beef comes out very tender and it is really good. All the other goodies that there will be over there to eat will provide a lot of temptation for me to go off my diet.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I need sleep

Last night I didn't get much sleep. Everett went out for a beer after work, something he does once in a while during the week. When he has a beer or two, he usually snores when he comes to bed. Snoring, as a rule, doesn't bother me. I'm pretty easy going about it. Well, at some point last night his snoring turned into these growling sounds. It's hard to explain, but when he exhaled it was like grrrrrrr. Here's where it gets interesting.

Ivy was laying in bed with me, on the other side of me from Ev. She isn't disturbed by his snoring either, as she was out like a light. Until the growling started. On one side of me is my darling husband, growling every time he exhaled. On the other side of me is my pup, on full alert now from her sound slumber. Every time Ev would growl, Ivy would growl! Back and forth they went... I didn't know who to hit with the pillow first! Agh.

Then top it all off with the neighbor's hound that just bays all night long, and I had to get up and search in three different rooms for ear plugs. Never did find any. I was still awake at 4:30 (the growling duel had started around 2:45). Tonight, I think I will be going to bed early!

Here's a pic of the log cabin squares so far. I have about 17 more to put a round of light colored strips on. Then they will all need one more complete round, half dark, half light. I even went upstairs before work today and sewed for 20 minutes.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Went upstairs to spend 10 minutes and stayed an hour and 20!

I surprised myself tonight. I just went upstairs, thinking I might sew for 10 minutes. Once I started sewing, I just felt like I could sew forever. I put another round of light colors on several of the log cabin blocks and prepped strips to put another round on the remaining blocks.

As I was sewing on the old Kenmore, I could faintly smell sewing oil as the machine heated up. This is a comforting smell to me for some really odd reason. It doesn't remind me of anyone, really. Even though my grandmother's both sewed, they weren't really prolific sewers while I was around them. I think I draw comfort from this smell because of me. I'm comfortable at the machine. I'm confident at the machine. And I enjoy being there. I have accomplished alot at that machine. So maybe it isn't really that odd that I'm comforted by the slight smell of sewing machine oil. I have only good associations with it.

I say that my grandmother's didn't sew much around me, and that's true. My maternal grandmother ran a tavern for most of my life until she retired well into my adult life. She would tell stories of sewing her skirts and outfits. She also told stories of sewing outfits for her brother (my great uncle here in town still) and his band members. Uncle Ray still plays in a band today and he is 82 years old, although I am sure he has been buying his band outfits for quite some time.

My paternal grandmother did actually sew in her later years, but not much on the machine. She always had some kind of hand project to crochet, which she taught all her granddaughters to do. When I was 17 I made my first quilt between my senior year of high school and my first year of college. She and I put it up in a frame and hand quilted it. I had to go to school before it was finished but she finished it, and many more after it. She caught the quilting bug, making embroidered tops and hand quilting them all. When her eyes could no longer see, she went back to crocheting, and did that pretty much til the end of her life. I believe she crocheted by feel those last few years. She did beautiful work.

And going a little further back into my sewing lineage, my maternal great grandmother, with whom I lived with until I was 12, did some light mending and a little bit of crocheting. When she was younger she made doilies as fine as lace, and crocheting and embroidered along the edges of pillowcases. When cleaning out my grandmother's house in St. Louis, I found a set of pillowcases I think she may have made. They weren't sewn together on the bottoms of them. I stitched them up and am using them.

Now, Mom, on the other hand, has no desire to pick up a needle or crochet hook. She is a thoroughly modern woman, a high achiever with her feet firmly planted on terra firma. She works in a skyscraper in Chicago for a law firm as a paralegal and loves the constant energy of the city. And she is one of my heroes.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Tuesday that feels like a Monday

The first day back to work after a weekend is always so draining to me. All day I think about coming home to do some sewing and then when I get home I just don't have any energy to do anything.

Today my friend Anne at work brought two bags of scraps to work for me. I got through just over one of them, sorting by color, when I got home. I just did that while sitting on the couch watching t.v. Will sort the rest tomorrow, probably. Anne went to a church rummage sale over the weekend and got several bags of material. What she gave to me was stuff she didn't want. I'm tickled pink to have it. Alot of the pieces were just too small to keep. What I did keep I think I might make some string blocks with.

Getting back to my diet. Back on my points. Seems like vacation sent me in a tailspin with the diet. I just get back to it and Labor Day weekend hits. Didn't do too bad over the weekend at least. Today I was real good. This coming weekend may be a challenge as my dad is having his annual beef in the ground picnic. There should be enough to choose from with the side dishes that I will have plenty to eat, but the temptation of all the goodies will be rough.

I made Ev some polish sausage for supper. Not much to that dinner, quick and easy.

Still praying and waiting for Gram's house to sell in St. Louis.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Making some progress

I'm making a little bit of progress on the log cabin squares. This picture doesn't do the colors justice. The strips aren't really red. They are a dark pink, and the cream colored strips have a speckling of gold in them.

Ev finished the railing on the deck. All the latticework is up and fastened properly. We had started that project quite a while ago when Ivy decided to go swimming. At that time we put gates up at the top of the steps to the deck and on the side where the steps are we put the lattice up. Before we could finish it, the summer heat reared it's ugly head. Then it rained. Then family obligations took precedence. Today he was able to finish it completely. It looks very nice. I have some decorative solar lights to put up around it, but since it's already September, I think I will just wait until next year to hang them.

Ev's on his second bowl of chicken rice soup. I think I'll thaw another bag out so he has something to take to work tomorrow evening.

Two county search for breakfast

Unbelievable. We decided to go to Litchfield for breakfast, which is the next county over. Not far, just 8 miles or so. We get to the diner and it's packed. Parking lot is packed and when we get inside there isn't a single table unoccupied. Time for Plan B.

We drive back to Mt. Olive, thinking we will to to Sunset, another good restaurant for breakfast. Guess what? We forgot that Sunset is closed on Mondays. Across the street is Crossroads Diner. Their lot is packed and we know they hardly have any tables to begin with, so we are implementing Plan C.

We drive to Gillespie, thinking we will have breakfast at Toni's restaurant. Gillespie as about 8 miles in a different direction from Litchfield, but oh well. We get to Toni's and they are closed too! Wow, we just can't catch a break... Plan D...

Back to Litchfield (by now we have made a large loop through two counties and are really getting hungry). We think Rt. 66 Diner may have a table now, since it's been 45 minutes or so. Not true. Parking lot is even more packed. Plan E (for EAT, maybe?)...

We go to Denny's. Not usually on our radar because it's expensive and it's a chain restaurant. We like our local places. We get to Denny's and there are people sitting outside like they are waiting for a table. Ev is not happy. I tell him to go ahead and park and I will put our name on the list. Luckily it was not a long wait at all for a table, and once Ev had coffee he was happy. This is his smiling face while we were waiting for our meal. Breakfast was good and now we have the rest of the day to do whatever.

He just left on the bike for a ride. It's very nice outside right now and he wants to take advantage of it. I'm going upstairs to sew. When he gets back we are going to do a little work outside on the deck that shouldn't take long at all.

Dinner is going to be super simple too. He requested chicken and rice soup. I happen to have three bags of it frozen and ready to eat, so I just took one out to thaw. Will either put some bread in the bread machine or make a loaf with the artisan dough in the fridge. Or we might just have crackers! haha. Depends on how I feel.

Labor Day Monday

It's a little after 9 a.m. and we are getting moving around here. I've been up and had my shower already, but Ev just rolled out of bed and is getting his shower. We are going to go up to Rt. 66 Diner and have some breakfast. Probably stop at the grocery store before we come home. I mentioned making beef stew for supper and didn't get much of a response, so I'm hoping during breakfast Ev will give me some idea of what he wants for supper so I can get the shopping done for it and be able to spend most of my day sewing.

I've got the bug now and want to get on those log cabin blocks. I need 36 blocks for the top. Somewhere along the line when I started I made 38. Well, I kept setting the extra two aside, but somehow or another they just kept sneaking into the pile and have grown along with the other 36. I am going to just go ahead and make the extra two and then maybe incorporate them into the back or make pillows with them.

I've also got a bunch of men's shirts that I need to get organized. Right now they are just in bins, but what I would like to do is get them deconstructed into usable pieces so I can take off and make quilts with them. That may be a 'sit in front of the t.v.' project some day when I don't feel like going upstairs.

I still have the Tennessee August quilt to work on. It's one I've been hand quilting, but haven't worked on for a long time. Now I'm kind of waiting for Ivy to settle a bit before I pull it out again. At least that's my excuse for letting it age! haha.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Late night ramblings

Do you see this lazy pup? She just thinks wherever she plops is where she should sleep!
Here's my messy sewing room table. I worked on the log cabin blocks for a couple hours today. I wish I had worked on them more, but that just didn't happen today. Want to do more on them tomorrow if I can.

I mowed some of the grass today. It felt good to get a little exercise.

We went to Johanna's for a while. Saw Johnathon and played with him for a bit. He is so smart! And very articulate. He can speak quite well and has a broad vocabulary. We had lunch and he wanted me to sit by him on the bench at the table. Then he kept trying to feed me lettuce and teddy graham crackers! It's a classic combination, you know... haha.

Nick went back to Springfield tonight. He had some friends he wanted to spend time playing music with. I just hope he is okay driving. He stopped at the house before he went back to change clothes. I made him a couple quesadilla's to eat on the way. Ev got a taste for them then, so of course I had to make him one then. They are quick and easy and taste pretty good.

Sunday visiting

Going to see Johanna in a little while. She works until 2 this afternoon. They have the baby, so Ev and I are going to run down there then and take some lunch meat and cheese and just have a little visit.

Nick has to work at 3. I think he is staying here tonight, since tomorrow is Labor Day.

Yesterday Donna and I went to the new shop in Hillsboro. It's on Main Street and it's called KK's Gifts. She has a nice shop. There isn't a lot of fabric inventory yet, but she is working on it. I purchased three fabrics to go in the log cabin I'm working on, and another, more gold colored fabric that was a remnant. Also purchased a cute little tape measure in bright green. We will be going back again.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Getting motivated

It's a little after 8 a.m. and I'm up and sort of moving. Nick spent the night last night and just left for work. Ev's still sleeping. I'm going to take my shower and then planning to go upstairs to the sewing room and work on that log cabin. I need to go over and let Ron's dogs out, too.

I'm guessing Ev and I will go out for breakfast when he rolls out of bed... And sometime today Donna and I may go over to a new quilt shop that opened a couple towns over. I want to check it out at least.

Ev was talking about going to a winery today. A new one opened up not too far from here. We might go check it out later in the afternoon.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Thank God Nick's okay!

Nick is not having a good week with cars. He was driving back to Springfield in the rain and started to hydroplane on the highway then ended up in the median between traffic! He is okay, although very shook up, and he says the car is okay. I am so grateful that he isn't hurt! Thank You, God.

This afternoon, when Nick and Ev had left for work, I got busy in the kitchen and in the sewing room. I baked an apple pie, two bowls of apple crisp, two dozen chocolate chip cookies, some breaded chicken patties, and two big baking potatoes! The chicken was for Ev's dinner when he gets home. I had one of the bakers for dinner and turned the other into a twice baked potato for Ev. Froze a dozen cookies and bagged up the other dozen and sent them home with Nick. I did eat some of the apple crisp, but the other bowl is for Ev. The pie is covered and I will be taking it over to Uncle Ray's tomorrow after work. I have to go let my Dad's dogs in and out all weekend, since they are out of town fishing.

I let our dogs out about 11:30 tonight and Ivy immediately started barking back towards the shed and the alley. I couldn't really see what she was barking at. I let them back in, then shut the outside light out. I watched out the kitchen window and pretty soon I see a small oppossum crawl across the shed roof! I guess that's what pup was barking at. Glad she didn't get in a tangle with it. I don't think she would have won that fight!

Went upstairs and did some sewing. Put another round of light colored strips on the log cabin blocks. They are coming along slowly but surely....

Timing is everything

Had a wonderful time with Mom and Pop Tuesday night. Ate more than I should have, but oh well, don't do that every day. They had stopped at Conrad's Harley Davidson in Joliet and bought Ev and Delbert each tee shirts! Ev was tickled to death. He kept saying "your mom is awesome!". sheesh.

So yesterday what happens but I break off a piece of one of my molars while eating lunch! I was thankful it didn't happen before Lotawata. I was even more thankful that Ev had a follow up visit scheduled at the dentist that I was able to take to get it fixed today! Got in there and out of there and all is right with the world.

Nick is going to be home for a few minutes tonight. He will drop off his laundry, then go to work at three. He will come past the house before heading back to Springfield tonight to pick up his clothes. I know he works tomorrow, too, so I'm assuming he will just stay home for the weekend tomorrow night.

Ev worked until 3 a.m. last night. He is pretty tired. He may have to work until that time again tonight, so he took about an hour nap. Don't know if it helped or not, but I hope so.

I'm going upstairs to sew once he goes to work and Nick has come and gone. Right now I have to go up and sew a few stitches on Ev's belt, which is cloth, where the buckle pulled it apart. No biggie.