Sunday, October 31, 2010

Churning out the blocks

I've got about a dozen more to go. That will give me several extras, but I want to have extra to play around with when I lay them out. Tomorrow I want to get the c.c. blocks done. Then I need to find a fabric to go with the muslin for the qst blocks. I'm hoping I can find a solid that I have enough material of, but I don't think I will. Might have to make a trip to Wal Mart.

Happy Halloween...continued!

Here's my goofy little pumpkin. I just picked up a pie pumpkin at Wal Mart for 47 cents and drew a silly face on him with a sharpie marker. Less mess than carving the little bugger.

The Dish guy was here and set up my free dvr upgrades. I'm very pleased. Going to get a lot of use out of them. Oh, and I'm glad the Dish guy wasn't afraid of dogs, because Wrigley and Ivy were crazy pooches when he came to the door! Ivy wanted to jump on him like crazy, just being super pup. Wrigley wanted to eat him...we really need to have more company so that dog gets more used to people.... Or maybe not. Seriously, I do not want my dog to bite anyone, but being alone in the evenings isn't as scary for me as it would be if I had, say, two chihuahua's instead of two big Labs.

I was upstairs sewing for quite a while today already. I'm a little frustrated because even though I thought I was getting a true quarter inch seam, when it came time to put the blocks together, they are shy about an eighth of an inch! So very frustrating. I'll stretch and steam press them into submission, but it's really aggravating to have gone through all that work and have it be off. Sigh.

Nick was here and gone again. He's going to Fairview to his friend's house to help scare little children and promote their d.j. business. I hope they get it off the ground. Nick could use some extra cash.

I think Johanna only worked until 2, but since she isn't home yet, I'm assuming she went to Ben's. Hope to see her later today. I think she will get a kick out of having the dvr feature on the t.v.'s now, too. (can you tell it takes so little to make me happy? :) lol)

Happy Halloween!

It's Halloween again. Here in our little town the kids are allowed to trick or treat two nights. Last night we didn't have many kids at all, so I'm hoping we will have more tonight. Ev was snooping around in the cabinets and just couldn't believe I didn't get any of the "good" candy! He kept asking where I hid the Baby Ruth and Snickers bars. Ummm, Honey, not this year! I blew my diet bad enough with Dum Dum pops. Chocolate bars are waaaayyyy too much temptation!

Both kids have to work today. Nick had to be in at 8 a.m. and Johanna had to be in at 6 a.m. Neither one was thrilled at having to actually get up in the morning. Ev and I are getting ready to go to breakfast this morning. Went to Church last night.

The guys are coming to install the dvr's for our t.v.'s between noon and 5 today. I find that odd that they are working on a Sunday, but I'm okay with it. Didn't have any plans for the afternoon, anyway.

I got upstairs and did some sewing yesterday. I cut enough muslin squares for the cc blocks and cut what I thought was enough strips for strip set piecing on the one part. I need to cut more strips! I have to make at least 23 more blocks to get it to the size I want. I also have to make 41 quarter square triangle blocks to put in between the cc blocks. That part should go fast, but probably will be boring. I'm not set on what the colors will be in the qst blocks. I'm thinking muslin and another solid. This is not my original idea, putting these two blocks together. It's from Bonnie Hunter's website, . She has got some amazing patterns and ideas on her site. I've been a fan of hers for years and have made several quilts using her patterns and ideas.

Ev took a bike ride yesterday with Delbert and a couple other friends. I was going to make homemade pizza last night for supper, but Ev called and said the guys wanted to stop at Tilley's and did I just want to come up there to eat? Well, duh, not have to cook? You betcha. Nick still had to eat, and I had the stuff ready to go for the pizzas, so I just made him a small olive and cheese pizza. I'll make ours today, unless we end up at Tilley's again...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Start of a long weekend for me

I have a four day weekend, woohoo! Took an extra day off on Monday, and we have Tuesday off for election day. Sweet! Going to try and get some sewing done. I didn't do any tonight, but plan on getting up early tomorrow and working on stuff.

Why do I always get a new project in my head when I'm in the middle of a different one? I am working on the chunky churdashes, but I have an idea in my head to make a scrappy quilt I saw a picture of on Stashbusters! Sheesh, I just have to finish the cc's then move on. I do give myself permission to move on after the top is done. Quilting the tops is in a different category in my brain for some reason...haha. I guess because it takes so much longer for me.

Went out with Diane to Tilleys for supper tonight. Wow, service was terrible! They were swamped and understaffed, so will cut them some slack. Hope it's not like that again, because I do enjoy going there but will stop if the service gets bad.

Ev hurt his foot at work yesterday. He hasn't had any medical treatment on it. They called his machine off tonight, so he has three days to rest up on it. That might help, but I am concerned about it.

Going to get new receivers for our Dish t.v. this weekend. I'm kinda excited about them. We are getting dvr receivers. That will be so cool. I can record things easily, hopefully. I don't watch much t.v. right now because there isn't much on, but if it's easy to record, I can find some good stuff to record at other times then watch at my convenience.

Got a little pumpkin today. I haven't carved it, but did draw a face on it with a sharpie marker. It's a cute pie pumpkin. Set it out on the front porch. Also picked up some dum dum suckers to give the ghouls and ghosties that come trick or treating. I figure if I get candy I'm not nuts about, maybe I won't eat it!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Goofy me taking random pics

Okay, I'm being proud mommy here. Johanna came home with her uniforms for her internship for nursing school today, so I had to take a picture of the patch on the sleeve! My baby girl is growing up... sniff sniff!

The other pic is of three little flashlights I picked up at the store today. They had them on sale for a dollar and they are usually four. I love these little guys and have bought them for family and for Christmas gifts. I actually have one by my bed, one in my purse, and of course one in the sewing room! I'm thinking of putting one in the glove box of the car, too. They are really bright.

I posted a hint for using scraps to Stashbuster today. I apologize to the blog readers who are members for this being a repeat, but I think it's worth sharing in a couple places. Sure has saved me a lot of time!

Currently I'm cutting pieces for a chunky churndash quilt, with all the blocks being scrappy. Each block needs four 3.5" squares and four 2" x 3.5" rectangles of one material. I found that when I pull out scraps, I don't always know if there is enough of that material to get those eight pieces. I decided to cut a rough template in those sizes out of light card stock (I used an old manila file folder). Now when I go to my scraps, I can lay the templates on the material and move them around to see if I can get four of each out of the piece. This is really helpful if the piece I want to use has odd sections cut out of it. There might be a corner that will yield one square, or a strip that might give me a few rectangles. It's something that can be adapted for any pattern. The blocks I'm making each have two colors, one being a neutral and the other being a color. The neutral part I have covered because I have a couple bolts of muslin as back up, so I didn't need to cut templates for the neutral pieces, although in this case they are the same sizes, just different quantities, for each block. Hope this helps someone else bust stash!

And for an update on my progress, tonight I finished cutting pieces in colors for the blocks. I have to press the muslin scraps and cut them next, then I get to do the fun part - sewing! These blocks should come together pretty quickly.

Mom found out the surgery will be in a week. I want to thank everyone for their continued prayers and good wishes.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday over

I'm glad this week is on the downside now. Mom's going to see the surgeon tomorrow. I'm sure they will set an appointment for her to have surgery soon. She has 95% blockage in an artery in her neck. Pretty serious stuff.

Haven't done any sewing lately. I have been pawing through my scrap box, looking for pieces that will work for the chunky churndashes. There are a few that will work well. Probably have to get into my yardage for others.

Don't know what's going through Johanna's head these days. I'm sure she is seeing Ben again.

I made baked fries and burgers for dinner tonight. Raymond called and had some peppers and a couple tomatoes yet. I brought home some apples to put in the freezer for pies.

Found another pattern I want to make. It's really scrappy but comes together nicely. One of the gals on Stashbuster made a quilt out of it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Just churning along

I cut out some more pieces for chunky churndash blocks. I have pieces for 12 blocks cut out. I have 18 blocks that were finished from a swap years ago. This gives me enough for 30 blocks, and I'm thinking I will make the quilt 9 blocks by 9 blocks. They will alternate with quarter square triangle blocks, so 41 c.c. blocks and 40 qst blocks should do it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

And two cats in the house

The little cat really does sleep in my arms. She comes up to me and gets in my lap then crashes out like she hasn't got a care in the world. Fat cat Cheetah likes to sit in weird positions. He was turned sideways, then decided to move his upper half around so he could look at me! That cat is one strange creature...

On my way back to work from lunch today my car decided to make some odd noises, then the check engine light came on. Drove it straight over to the dealership/garage. They gave me a loaner and I went back to work. Then they called with the bad news. Ugh. Another fuel injector went south and another close to four hundred dollar repair is necessary. Dang, it just goes on and on and on.

It's really windy here tonight. I think we are supposed to get some storms later, then a cool front move through. Winter is on it's way.

I cut some pieces out for a few more chunky churndash blocks. I haven't completely figured out how many I need, but I know it's more than I have!

Prayers please

My mother is going to have some tests done tomorrow and possibly surgery. Please keep her in your prayers. Thank you.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I need a nap

I'm home from the baby shower. It's such a lazy afternoon, I'm seriously tempted to take a nap! The quilt was well received. She got a lot of nice gifts. It wasn't one of those fru fru showers where everyone plays a lot of silly games. We came in, ate, played one game, then she opened presents. That's the kind of shower I like!

I had to go to Dollar General before the shower to get wrapping paper. Saw my brother Gus there. He was buying a card for our sister in law. My dad was having a party for her this afternoon. I was invited, as was the rest of my clan, but declined because of the shower.

Gus is having a rough time of it right now in his marital life. I certainly have my own opinions about this situation, and they are not favorable towards his wife. Whatever happens, it's his decision. I just hope he makes the right one.

Going to Tilley's for supper tonight. No surprise there - it is Sunday! haha. Ev's out on a bike ride. He's getting the bike out as much as possible now, knowing that Winter is around the corner and he's going to have to put it away soon.

Johanna just left to go to a friend's to work on a paper for school. She probably won't be home tonight. She says she is spending the night with her friend. I really hope that's where she is staying. If not, I don't want to know.

I want a longarm machine so bad. I have wanted one for years, obviously, but the desire is really getting stronger. I've been watching videos online demonstrating different techniques. I've read Linda Taylor's Guide to Machine Quilting cover to cover several times. I'm on a first name basis with Doug and Lou, the Nolting representatives in LaMoille. Once we get some of our bills paid off, I am going to get it. It's going to happen. Ev got his Harley, it's my turn!

Goats, goats, goats

When we were coming home from breakfast yesterday, Everett said "Let's go through the country and maybe we will see the goats again". The goats did not disappoint us! There's a farm that has quite a few goats, usually penned up behind the house, that is on our route home. One time when we drove past, the goats were even up on the front porch of the house! Yesterday Ev stopped the car and I jumped out and took this picture right from the fence. Ev was amused that they had "beards"! Ummm, yes, my city boy husband, goats have beards!

I don't know if I ever shared this story or not, but it's goat related and it's funny. When we first started dating, I wanted Everett to meet my Great Grandfather (he and Mammy raised me until I was 12). Grandpa's house sat at the edge of town, and I use the term "town" loosely, as there were about 200 people in it, and only 4 or 5 narrow streets. He had fields South of the house and to the West. Two houses to the East, and keep in mind that the houses were not at all close together, lived a man named Estel. Estel always had some kind of different animal. Mom says when they were kids he had a raccoon for a while, and there were other stories I just can't remember right now. Anyway, back to my story...

Everett and I get out of the car at Grandpa's, after a four hour drive, and he looks around. He takes in the back of the house, which is where the driveway ends, Grandpa's huge garden to the West, the fields to the South, then happens to look to the East, toward Estel's.

Everett then says to me, "Tam, that is the ugliest dog I have ever seen!". I look over in the direction of Estel's house and see that he has a goat tied to a dog house! Well, I told Everett that was not a dog, it was a goat. My city boy husband tries to argue with me that it is a dog because it's tied to a dog house. No, dear, it's a goat. It's Estel's goat. It has horns, see? And to think the man didn't run screaming back to the city!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Funny night

Got home from the comedy show a little bit ago. There were two comedians. The first was like a warm up act, and he was okay. The second guy was better. I enjoyed it, some parts more than others. I would guess this was the smallest audience they had played to in a long while. There were only about 50 or so people there. The food was just chili and hot dogs. And free beer and soda. The chili was okay, but I like mine better.

The trucks quilt is washed and dried and in a box. I just need to get it wrapped and then will be ready for the shower. I showed it to Ev when it came out of the dryer, and he first said that's nice, then real fast said, wow there's a lot of work in that! I know the first response was while he was watching t.v. and he really hadn't looked at it, but then happened to look and was shocked by all the stitching! That made me feel really good and I appreciated that he recognized how much work went into it. There aren't many men like him around and I sure am lucky to have him! Thank You God.

It took about four and a half hours to finish that quilt today. I'm so glad it's all done because tomorrow I want to make some more chunky churndash blocks. Just have that in my head to do, so I better do it before it makes me crazy! haha.

Nick worked tonight and was going to stay home but he ended up coming here from work and picking up his laundry then heading back to Jay's. He said Jay and some of his friends were going out drinking and he didn't want a stranger sleeping in his bed!

Ivy was so funny last night. I was in bed before Ev and didn't realize that the pup had crawled up on the pillows on his side of the bed. When he came to bed, instead of going to the foot of the bed like she usually does, she stayed up there and Ev didn't bother to move her. She was still there when we woke up this morning! I guess she was just wanting some extra loving and attention. The cats were wanting it too, because Nick said both of them slept in the bed with him last night! The only animal not wanting human contact throughout the night was Wrigley. She likes to sleep on her back, all four legs in the air, on the couch! Such a goofy mutt... cracks me up.

Trucks done

The trucks and cars baby quilt is done. Here's a finished pic of it, and the back and label. I did a meandering loop in the border, some miscellaneous circles in parts of it, and then outlined the cars and trucks in the focus squares. The quilting doesn't show hardly at all on the back. I made a label with the baby's name, Maddox Christopher, on it.

I did sign the quilt in the corner of the back right by the label, but unless you know it's there, you won't really see it.

Getting ready to go uptown the the comedy show tonight. Been looking forward to it.

Johanna and Toni are having fun up by my Mom.

Nick is going to be starting a new job teaching guitar over in Staunton.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday night

Not much going on. I did start machine quilting on the baby quilt. I started doing a meandering loop in the outer border. Probably not the recommended way to begin quilting, but I wanted to be sure the backing was attached at the edges because it was such a close fit.

I put a size 14 needle in the old Singer and fiddled with the tension on the bobbin a bit. It just seems to be trial and error with the tension issues. Eventually I will find a happy medium. Eventually.

So I walked quite a bit today. In addition to my ten and twenty minute walks at work on my breaks, I walked uptown to meet Lori at Tilley's. We split a wrap and fries, then we walked to the other end of Main Street and back. Then walked home. I felt like that justified having the fries. Well, maybe not, but it felt good to walk. I'm going to try and keep it up as much as I can. That helps so much with the weight loss.

I'm anxious now to be finished with this baby quilt because I really do want to make some more chunky churndash blocks and set them with quarter square triangles. I have 18 blocks and I'm thinking that really isn't enough to make a quilt of any kind of size other than a baby quilt.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Life is full of missed opportunities

Today I missed an opportunity to capture something beautiful in a photo. I was taking my walk on my break at work and saw the prettiest sight. On a yellow flower, probably a weed, was a large butterfly. It made the nicest picture and I should have snapped it, but I was on the phone with Ev at the time and can't use the phone and take a pic at the same time. Pics like that have always appealed to me. I always think they would make nice puzzles. I guess that is weird, but who cares.

Johanna is going up north to visit with my mom and family tomorrow evening. Our neighbor Toni is going with her. Toni is Delbert's daughter and her and Johanna are the same age. She's a good kid, too.

Nick was down for a bit tonight. He came down to get a new tire on his car after his last class of the day. Then we went to Denny's and had an early supper. We went to Aldi and I stocked him up on some groceries, then topped off his gas tank at the gas station. He went back to Springfield and I came home.

Didn't make much of a supper. Just had some frozen fish patties for Ev and made some cabbage and noodles. He should like it. I just hope the after effects of the cabbage hold off until I leave for work in the morning...

Went upstairs and pin basted the baby quilt for the shower Sunday. My backing fabric just barely fits. If it happens that it shrinks, I'll trim the borders of the top if I have to. I think I'll use the blue variagated thread. Going to start out using a #14 needle and see if that works okay. Nolting sent me the needles and bobbin case I ordered for the old Singer. I'm glad they could order them for me because I really did not want to give the guy in Highland any business.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Over the hump

The middle of the week has come and gone. I'm glad we are on the downside of it.

Here's a pic of the baby quilt progress. The colors don't look like they do in the pic. The greens and yellows are more defined. I do like how it turned out so far. I have some companion material to the focus squares that I'm using for a 3" border next. It has cars and trucks in a smaller scale on it. That will be the last border and then I will pin baste and machine quilt. In fact, I already have two sides of the last border put on. I did that after I snapped this photo. Probably put the other two sides on it in the morning and press before I go to work.

Saturday night we are supposed to go see a comedian at a show uptown. I'm really looking forward to it. Bill and Diane are going with us.

Last night I made two meals. One was hamburger helper and the other was cabbage rolls. Ev had hamburger helper last night so tonight he can have cabbage rolls. I know they aren't his favorite, but they are pretty good this time around. I took Uncle Ray a plate of them with some new potatoes tonight when I got home from work. I want to try and remember to take a container of them tomorrow to my friend Anne at work.

I'm just tossing the idea around right now, but I have 18 chunky churndash blocks that will finish to 9" sitting upstairs in my stash. I saw a really neat way to put them together with quarter square triangle blocks. I think I may make a few more chunky churndash blocks then put together a top. Been in the mood to finish things lately, and getting those blocks put together would be some progress.

I am so wanting a Nolting longarm. The 24" Pro is my dream machine right now. If I had the money, I would get it in a heartbeat. I know I could make money with it, quilting for others. It wouldn't take me much practice at all, I don't think. That's another reason I'm content to make a lot of tops right now. I want to have a nice stash of them ready to practice quilting on!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Not too thrilled

I'm not really happy with my daughter right now. She is going out with her ex tonight to the movies. I'm just hoping she will realize why she didn't want to be with him and be done already. I can't live her life for her, but I sure wish she would use some common sense here.

I came home at lunch and threw together some chicken in the crock pot. I browned a package of six chicken legs and put them in the crock pot with apricot jam, honey, pineapple juice, and some spices, then covered with sauteed onions. When I got home I thickened the sauce with corn starch and made some noodles to go with it. Pretty good eats!

Kinda cool here today. I'm sitting around in sweats with a dog on my feet! Probably going to go upstairs and do some sewing in a bit. Still haven't made the cabbage rolls. Might get around to that tonight, and might not.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pieces, pieces everywhere...

Here's my progress on the baby quilt for the shower next Sunday. There was a time when this pile of pieces would have sent me into a panic because I would feel like I needed to be further along. I'm not going there this time. I'm confident I can get it done, and if not, there's always plan B.

Spent a good part of today running around getting parts to fix the sink. First we picked up a tube of silicone, thinking we were going to have to do a patch job on it. Then, when Ev wasn't home, I took the pipe wrench to the top nut to see if I could tighten it. And, just like he predicted, it broke loose and made it even worse. So, then when he came home I told him I felt like we needed to just get the right parts and do the job correctly. All the while, not admitting the fact that it was now no longer possible to do the patch job... Hey, a girl's gotta have some secrets! Since we had just picked up his bike from getting the tire fixed, I asked him if he wanted to take a ride and pick up the parts. I gave him the old parts to match up and sent him on his merry way. He came home with what should have been the right thing, but as our luck dictates, it was a defective part. So, I went to the other store that sells parts and got the right thing. After being home five minutes with the right parts, the sink was fixed. All is well.

My friend Mary called with terrible news yesterday. Her daughter was in an accident. She was turning left and a motorcycle was coming straight and ran into her car. The cyclist died at the scene. Her daughter is okay, physically, but gonna need some help getting through this, I'm sure.

I don't regret not going to St. Louis again today. Spending all that time there yesterday wiped me out! I guess I'll have to settle for trying to get on with my online application.

Ev and I and Delbert went to Tilley's again tonight for supper. They expanded their menu and have a fried chicken dinner on Sunday's. I had it, and I am so full it's uncomfortable. I know I should not eat like that, but it's hard to stop, especially when good mashed potatoes are involved. Potatoes are my weakness.

Talked to Mom today. She had made cabbage rolls for dinner and was bragging on how good they tasted. So, of course I had to go get the fixin's for them. I didn't get them made because of the plumbing issues, but intend to make them one night this week. She put her own spin on them and I'm going to copy what she did because it just sounded really good. I also have some chicken legs that I want to put in the crock pot one night. And, I also want to make some spaghetti sauce this week.

Leaky sink

Woke up this morning to a puddle of water under my kitchen sink. Sigh. The pipes for the waste water from the sink are always springing a leak somewhere. The plumbing is so old in this house. I cleaned up the mess, but it looks like Ev is going to have to do some patch up work, probably with a tube of silicone. What a pain in the patootie.

Here's a pic of the tent and the Wheel Mobile from yesterday. Not a very good pic, I know, but I was in a hurry to get up to it and see what was going on. There were three "shows" that a person could audition at. I was able to get into the first and third shows. The names are drawn at random once you are in the show, to see who will come up on stage and participate. I would estimate 30-40 people per show got to audition. The total amount of people there for all three shows was around 4000! Sooooo, I'm sure you can guess that I did not get an audition. The draw was totally random. I left home at 11:20 in the morning and didn't get home until 7 at night. It was a long day. I am not planning on going back again today.

When I was sitting down in the tent waiting for a show to start I started talking with a woman next to me. She said she had just begun to quilt and had taken a couple lessons. She said the gal who gave her lessons just opened up a bed and breakfast and has it set up as a quilt retreat. I took her name and I'm going to have to check it out.

Ev and I went to that party last night at the Ford Dealership. It was okay. We stayed a little over an hour. Not long, but long enough. Had a plate of food. They had grilled pork chops, grilled turkey legs, potato salad, cole slaw, and other goodies. The pork chops were wonderful. Ev had a couple beers an I actually had a drink.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A quick finish

Here's a pic of the flannel baby quilt finished. Looks pretty much like the last pic of it. I machine quilted in the ditch on the old Singer. Then I even did the binding on the same machine. I just wrapped the backing material around for the binding. I like the way it came out and the way it came together so quickly. I think if I were to do it again, I would arrange the solid squares differently as this is a little boring in my opinion.

I was leary of machine quilting it because it's flannel. Flannel seems to want to stretch a lot for me. It was okay. There are a couple tucks in the back where the stitching lines cross. My original intent was to stitch in the ditch, then do some other machine quilting on it. However, once I finished the stitching in the ditch, it really had enough quilting on it and I wanted to move on to the other baby quilt I have to have done in a week. So done is better than perfect, as my Stashbuster friends always say!

I'll be heading to St. Louis later this morning. Nervous and excited about the game show try outs. I really hope it isn't so horribly crowded, but it probably will be. I'll be close to my grandmother's house, so I might take a ride over there and check on it. I don't know if I can get in or not because the real estate agent has a lock box on it. At any rate, if I do go past there, I will be sure to hit the JoAnn Fabrics and Hancock's that are within a couple miles of her house! Just going to see how things go.

Tonight we are invited to a party at the Ford dealership. Okay, I know that sounds weird, but it's a small town thing. The owner of the dealership is having a party for his employees and has invited some of his customers. I happened to be one of the lucky ones. We probably won't stay too long, but from what I'm hearing he will have beer, a live band, food (turkey legs and pork chops are what I've heard about so far!) and a bonfire. Sounds like a good time to me. I'm not much of a party goer, but we will have a good time.

Friday, October 15, 2010

I am lucky

I really am. I have a good life. I'm thankful to God for everything we have. Tomorrow I am planning on going to try out for a game show. It's a long shot that I'll even get a try out, and even longer that I would get on the show, but if I don't go to the try out's I will always regret it. That said, if I don't get a shot (the most likely scenario) I can easily walk away smiling because I know that I am truly blessed. Thank You God for everything good in my life. Amen.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Quilt detour

I stopped working on the quilt for Lori's grandchild to throw this baby quilt together. It's different colors of flannel. The squares are 6 inches finished. I have the top completed and have pin basted it. It's ready to be quilted and bound. This is for a coworker's grandchild that was born Monday.

I really need to get some baby quilts made and stock piled so I don't get in a bind like this again!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Done and delivered

The kitties and fishbones quilt was delivered yesterday. Here are the final pics of it, including the label. It is definitely loud.

Been watching the miner's in Chili being rescued. What an absolute miracle. Thank You, God.

Another thing to be thankful for is that Ev's visit to the doctor today was a good one. He goes to another doc tomorrow, but not too worried about it after talking to this one.

Started sewing on the baby quilt for Lori's grandchild. I did as much as I could without having to press anything, then stopped and did all the ironing. I need to cut some pieces then start putting more pieces together. It should go fairly quickly.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fabric frenzy

Anyone who knows me, knows that I can't be within an hour of Arthur and not stop at Miller's Dry Goods! Here are a couple pictures of the material I purchased while there. The black and the silver are mine. The silver is 'thinsulate'. It will be used for potholders for Christmas gifts. The black I would like to use in another brick's and stepping stones quilt. Brick's and stepping stones is from Bonnie Hunter's website and I made two throws from this pattern several years ago for my two brothers.

The other picture is six materials that Johanna picked out for a quilt. I thought if I dragged her into the store, the least I could do is to let her pick some fabrics for a quilt for herself! We have to add a few more fabrics, but there's no hurry. I have other quilts to make and finish before I start this one. Not sure what pattern we will use yet. She will have a part in choosing that also!

I went upstairs and marked squares to make half square triangles for the baby quilt. Didn't sew anything, but spent over an hour up there. I'm hoping the quilt comes together quickly. I refuse to pressure myself to get it done, although I fully expect to do wo. If it's not done for the shower, I will buy a gift and give it later, when it is done. That's all there is to it.

Back to work tomorrow. The other store we stopped in in Arthur was Beachy's. I wanted Johanna to see it, so when I talk about it, she knows what it is. She got a mint whoopie pie! I also got a few more spices, including a 'fajita mix' for my friend Barb at work.

Quilt in the wash

The baby quilt with kitties and fishbones is in the wash. I finished the binding yesterday and put the label on it. I hope the little girl likes it!

I'm going to have to put together some pizza dough over the week so we can have pizza this weekend. I want to try out my new pizza peels! I have two pizza stones, and now I have two pizza peels, so I can make and bake two pizza's at once.

The weather has been really nice. Too warm, in my opinion, for October, though! I'm ready for cool, crisp days and cold nights! I'm sure it will be here in due time! I'm so much more a cold weather person than hot weather.

Pretty fall colors

Aren't the trees pretty? The colors are just starting to turn on them. I took this on my way home from the grocery store. What I really think are pretty, are the bright yellow leaves.

I think I need to clarify my last post about the birthday dinner. Every year, my dad has had a birthday dinner for everyone when it's their birthday. At first these were nice, but then they became a burden. Financially, because you were expected to bring a dish and a present, even if it wasn't said out right. Ev managed to nix it right away when his birthday came around and they just bring him over a card. The way I feel about the whole situation with that part of the family, especially my stepmothers side, made me hard nosed about not spending my birthday with them, or any celebration of my birthday. They had started combining mine with her sisters' a couple years ago. It is NOT that I don't like to share the day. It was the fact that her brother and his family and her sisters all treat my family like crud. I'm done. Just done.

Haven't started sewing yet today. Ev and I went to breakfast, then took his bike out to a friends to get the tire changed. Had to leave it there for a couple days and Ev is missing it already. I picked up some hamburger to make a meatloaf tonight for dinner and some stew meat to make stew for tomorrow. Will put those meals together, then go up and sew after he goes to work. hopefully.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Always thinking about quilts

So I get a new package of socks at the mall. I put a pair on in the hotel room, and look down and what do you think I am thinking of? Flying Geese! The socks have three flying geese on the top of them! I need help.... haha

Mom, Johanna, my brothers and I are all still talking about what a good time we had. We are calling it the first annual shopping trip! Next year, hopefully Nick will go with us too. Mom mentioned staying in Mattoon instead of Tuscola because that is where the restaurant we liked so much is! That would be fantastic for us. And, it's only 20 minutes away from the mall, so no big deal there.

I have got to motivate myself to get started on that baby quilt for the shower in two weeks. I had pretty much decided to do the one mystery quilt that I had cut out for Paducah next April. When I looked at it, I saw how many pieces were in it (lots, lots, and lots) and got discouraged. Then I went to the flannel drawer and tried to pick out fabric for a top, but just couldn't get it to come together in my head. So I looked again at the mystery quilt and realized I had cut enough pieces to make a twin size quilt! Over 2x what I need for a baby quilt, so now I'm feeling pretty good about just using what I have cut already. I'll take what I need for the baby quilt and then see if I have enough to a: recut the pieces I used and have enough for a twin size again, or b: cut enough pieces to make TWO more baby quilts in identical fabric to the first, or c: make one more baby quilt with the pieces and use the extra pieces in the backing. Option c is probably the way I will go.

Not working tomorrow because of Columbus Day, so I intend to get going on it then. Wouldn't mind getting the whole top finished tomorrow. Then Tuesday I work, so I know I won't be in a mood to quilt much in the evening, but I could get it pin basted. Wednesday Everett has a doctor's appointment in the morning. I will be home by noon, so I could get started on the machine quilting then. Will see how it goes...

So I bid (by proxy) on that antique treadle sewing machine at an auction over the weekend. I had seen it online and gotten a wild hair that I wanted it. Well, I won the bid. I went and picked it up after we got back from Tuscola. The gal who had checked it out for me lived in the same town as the auction was and was really talking it up and how she would have liked to have had the machine herself if she had had money to bid on it. Once I saw the machine, I realized I didn't have a love affair with it. My friend, however, did. She talked about watching her mother and grandmother sew on a treadle and that was what she had learned on. I called her up and told her I changed my mind about it and did she want it. She did. So I took it over to her house and we will work out the details about paying for it later. Not concerned at all. It wasn't much and she's a sweet person who does a lot for me. I know she will love it and care for it and USE it.

Ev and I are going to Tilley's for supper again tonight. Seems to be our Sunday thing. Ev said Delbert texted him before noon today asking what time we were going to supper! So I guess Del is going with us. Johanna, too, probably. I'm getting chicken wings, I think.

Passed my dad's house on my way over to the auction site. Saw they had quite a crowd over there for my stepmother's two sisters' birthdays. (that's a mouthful). I am SOOOOOO glad we did not go there. She had told me that they were doing that, including my birthday in the mix, and I told her no. Had to say it nine different ways before she got it, but finally got through to her that I was not having my birthday dinner with her family. She and Dad came up for lunch last week and took Ev and I out. That was fine, it was enough, and all were happy. She was kind of reserved during lunch, though.

Sunday morning in Tuscola

Haven't left yet, but getting close. I think Johanna wants to stop at a different mall on the way home! omG what have we created? haha. Here's a pic of my brother with the 'big birthday hat' at the restaurant last night. He had such a good time! We all did. Big thanks to Mom for taking us on this spree. Johanna got some clothes she wanted. I got two pizza peels from the kitchen store, something I've been looking for for a long time.

My friend Anne from work went to an auction for me yesterday to bid on a treadle sewing machine. I had seen the listing and picture online and wanted to have someone check it out for me before bidding. She said it was in very good condition, so I doubt that my bid was enough to purchase it. Will find out later today.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Here's a goofy picture! See the deer butt on the wall? They had a few deer heads mounted, but this was the only deer butt I've ever seen mounted. We had a great time shopping and having dinner today. I have so many things to say about our trip, but it's late and I'm really pooped, so it will have to wait until tomorrow!

Friday, October 8, 2010

To the mall!

Tomorrow is the trip to the outlet mall with Johanna. Meeting Mom and the boys there at noon. Going to leave early enough here that we can have breakfast in Arthur and I can stop at Miller's Dry Goods again. I love that shop....

Did not finish the baby quilt yet. I sewed on the binding this morning before work, and only have about half the side left to do and the label. Intended to finish it tonight, but Lori called and wanted to visit. We met up at Tilley's and had supper, then walked down Main Street for some exercise. Came back to the house and played a couple board games, then drove Lori home about 9.

When I got on the scale this morning it was at 177.0! I was so thrilled, that my entire day was good because of that. It was almost intoxicating, to know that I have lost 46 pounds. In 4 more pounds I can say I've lost 50, and that will be a real milestone!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

One more side to go

I have less than one side of the binding to sew and then the label. I went upstairs and made a label with the recipient's name on it, so it's ready to be sewn on last, but not least.

Really looking forward to going to the outlet mall this weekend. I'm not so excited about the shops, mostly I'm excited about seeing Mom and having Johanna there with us. It will be a good time.

I'm not sure if I will make a baby quilt out of flannel or if I will make the one baby quilt I have cut and kitted. It's a mystery quilt, but I'll probably cheat and look at the end result, just to make sure I'll like it. Having the day off Monday will be nice. I can get some serious sewing time in.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tired eyes

That puzzle fabric on the kitties and fishbones quilt makes my eyes tired! I decided to machine sew the binding to the top of the quilt, then hand sew it down in the back. It always looks so neat and finished that way. I got two sides of binding sewn before my eyes said Enough! Tomorrow is another day and I can hand sew it while watching t.v. if I want to. Tonight I did just that while Criminal Minds was on.

Nick worked then stopped by for his laundry and some groceries. He's going to some kind of concert tomorrow night up there.

Johanna had Matt over for a short time tonight. He helped her paint in her room. Then they both left and she said she was going to Jamie's.

Ev has two doctor's appointments next week. I'm a little concerned, so anyone wanting to throw some prayers out there for him, please do! Thanks.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Almost done

I have all the machine quilting done on the kitties and fishbones quilt. I cut the binding out of the background puzzle fabric. Hope to get that put on it tomorrow, then the label and wash it.

I will have to get busy on the next baby quilt then. Lori's daughter's shower is in a couple weeks. I guess I'll do the flannel quilt for her.

Looking forward to going to Tuscola with Johanna this Saturday. Meeting Mom and the boys there for an overnight shopping trip and dinner.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Just the border left to quilt

All I have to do on the kitties and fishbones quilt is the outer border. I am going to do a row of hearts inside hearts. After I finished quilting the pinwheels in the four patch blocks, I did some practice hearts inside hearts. I don't think they will be too difficult if I take my time and pay attention while I'm doing them. Then all that will be left will be to bind and label the quilt. I may hold off labeling it until I'm ready to give it away.

I think I will start a baby quilt in flannel fabrics next. The pattern I want to use is a square in a square block and seems pretty simple. I hope it is and that the flannel isn't too stretchy on the bias. I need to get moving on it because that quilt will be for my friend Lori's first grandchild and I think the shower is coming up soon. I think she is due at the end of the year.

It was kind of funny today. I went upstairs to Johanna's room to make her bed. We got a new mattress and box spring set for her today and I had washed the sheets and dried them. Johanna is out with Matt on a date (he even brought her flowers...) so I figured it would be late when she got home and I would surprise her by making her bed. Well I put her graduation signature quilt on the bed when I got it all done. I stepped back and looked at it, not so much at the signatures, but at the arrangement of the blocks and colors. I couldn't tell you what I did, just that it worked. I don't know what was in my head when I was laying out those blocks, but the pattern and the colors came together to make a pretty quilt top. It's funny how the quilts are in my head, I make them, then they are gone and I couldn't tell you how I did them! I wonder if this is normal? haha. I don't care, it works for me!

It got cool enough last night to turn the furnace on. I sure don't want that high heat bill, but we had to do it.

I'm thinking about getting Tennesseee August out and machine quilting it. I wonder if I could use hand quilting thread in the old Singer to do that? Doug, from Nolting, is looking into getting me a bobbin case for the Singer. I want a spare so I can mess with the tension if I want to.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday sewing

I feel good about the amount of sewing I was able to accomplish today. I spent three hours upstairs throughout the day working on the kitties and fishbones quilt. I finished the spiral quilting in the pinwheels. I finished the little fishies in the inner border (they look more like fishies when I put eyes in them and curved the tail a little). I started to put pinwheel shapes as the quilting in the four patch blocks. Got about a quarter of them done. I'm thinking about putting a row of hearts inside hearts in the last border. Not set on that yet.

Really feeling good about doing this machine quilting. I'm in a groove with it now. Feels like I am finally getting the old Singer to cooperate. It still has it's moments when thread will break, but they are getting fewer and fewer. It's also happening at times when I understand why it might happen. That makes me feel ahead of the game a little.

Been using Gram's old Kenmore for a little piecing and ordinary sewing. Today I wanted to put some old pillowcases over Ev's feather pillows. Every time I change the pillowcases, his pillows lose feathers all over the place. Well, I got tired of that, so I took old, thin, worn out pillowcases that were destined to go to the rag bag soon and put the pillows into them then sewed the ends closed. Then I put them into pillowcases that weren't as old and worn out and put them on the bed. Hopefully this will solve the feathery mess problem.

Johanna had to work tonight until 10. She texted that she is ready to come home. I don't blame her. 2-10 seems like a long day, even though it's just a regular 8 hours.

Bright colors, kitties, and fishbones

Are you dizzy yet? Here is a picture of some of the quilting I did on this child's quilt. The center of the quilt has 16 pinwheels, so I did a spiral motif in each one of them. They are by no means perfect. In fact, they are quite wonky and imperfect. But I'm leaving them in. Again, this is not a museum piece and I have given myself permission to not be perfect right now! haha. Practice practice practice. That's what I'm gonna do.

The back of the quilt has the puzzle material with the strips of bright colors and one pinwheel block smack dab in the center. I like it and so does Ev and Johanna. Both of them said it could easily be the front of the quilt, that they liked it that much! Big compliment in my opinion and it sure made me feel good!

Next part I'm going to quilt will be the 1" border separating the pinwheels from the rest of the quilt. There's a picture of my practice fish. At least I hope they look like fish... The first couple didn't have eyes and the tails were straight. As I was making them I thought giving them eyes and curving the tail would make them look more fish-like. I'll practice a few more then put the little suckers on the quilt. Still not 100% sure what I'm going to quilt on the rest of it.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Almost midnight

I just now came down from the sewing room. I was up there over two hours. I did come down while Johanna was eating her dinner after she got home from work. Talked to her for about ten minutes, then went back upstairs.

As usual, it wasn't just a simple matter of pinning the layers together. The quilt top is wider than 44". The fabric I wanted to use for the back was 44" but I didn't have enough of it to piece two strips together, of course. So I improvised. I cut the backing to length, then cut down the middle of it and inserted a pieced section. It's hard to describe, so I'll just have to post a picture, but not tonight because I'm going to bed soon! Let me just say the pieced section has strips of all the colors on the front and one pinwheel block right in the middle of it.

After piecing the back together, I did get the quilt pin basted. It's ready to quilt. Problem is, I'm not! I need some inspiration on what to quilt in the blocks. The only quilting I'm certain of is that I want to put a line of little fish in the small inner border. That leaves the center of sixteen pinwheels that needs to have some kind of quilting in them and then the border of four patch blocks and the final three inch border. Not feeling the love right now, so I had to walk away from it. I do think the pinwheel blocks need to have some kind of quilting that will give the illusion of movement. Or I could just cop out and do what I said I was going to do and just loopy meander all over it! That wouldn't be a bad choice, either for the entire quilt or for just the center of pinwheels. But then what to quilt in the four patches and border? agh.

Hundreds of t.v. channels and nothing to watch

At least nothing that I care to watch. Seems like the only safe channel on these days is the Food Network, and sometimes that doesn't have anything good on. I would rather sit in silence than watch some of the garbage they put on the air.

We went to dinner at Lotawata Creek. Had a really nice time. Ev had a steak the size of Texas and ate every bit of it! I do not know where he put it. They give you so much food there, it's enough for three meals! Nick is taking home a huge portion of pasta and broccoli, plus some french fries and three huge breaded stuffed mushrooms. We brought home a meatloaf dinner for Johanna. Also brought home 3/4ths of my entree! I don't mind paying for a meal when you get a lot of food and it's all good food.

Since we were close to JoAnn Fabrics, I convinced Ev and Nick to let me run in and get some thread. I wanted to get some bright colored varigated thread because the one top I want to do next has a lot of brights in it. I didn't find a thread exactly like what I had in mind, but I found one with varigated purples. The quilt has purple as one of the main colors, so it will work well.

Both the guys left me so I'm going upstairs to pin baste that quilt.

A rug cleaning fool

That's what I was last night - I steam cleaned the carpet in the sitting room and the front room. (I don't know why it's called a sitting room because no one sits there! It's just a wasted room between the kitchen and front room that has the stairs going up in it.) The area at the bottom of the stairs was a favorite 'accident' place for Ivy and I just couldn't stand the thought of it anymore. So I rented a Rug Doctor from the grocery store. Spent a couple hours last night going over the carpet in that area and in the front room. I am going to go over them again this morning before I take the machine back (1 day rental). I'm pleased with the outcome as of right now, but I want to go over them again with more of the pet odor neutralizer just to prevent the dog smell from returning. Hopefully.

Nick just left for work. He has to work 8 to 3 today. Johanna has to work 2 to 10. This is a bummer because I wanted all 4 of us to go to dinner at Lotawata tonight. Johanna usually works 6 to 2 on Saturdays but her schedule got switched up this weekend. So it will just be Ev, Nick and I going to dinner.

I intended to get some sewing done last night, but after doing the rugs I was just beat. Today I would at least like to get another quilt pinned to machine quilt. I was thinking about the blue New Year's Eve mystery top, but I might do the baby quilt top first. It's smaller and I need to have more practice right now. I'm just putting a meandering loop on things for now. Once I get confident with that, I will move on to other things.