Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A bit more quilting done

You know, I am really starting to get the hang of the machine quilting on the smaller pieces.  Tonight I did some more loopy loops on the other wall hanging and got it all quilted and ready for binding.  It seems to be a combination of things that has bolstered my confidence.  Having the one machine set up and ready to machine quilt at any time is a big help.  The machine being set into the cabinet, so that it is level with the table, really makes a huge difference.  I would never have thought it would make that big of a difference, but it does.

I know I can't make just loopy loops forever, but as I gain confidence with the smaller pieces and get comfortable with the loopy loop design, I feel like I can just slowly work myself up to larger pieces.  Then maybe I will tackle a different design.  No hurry.  And maybe part of it is just doing some quilting as often as possible that helps, too.  Whatever it is, I'm pleased.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sunday was bittersweet

This past Sunday was the last regular Mass at my church.  Our small town can no longer support two Catholic Churches so the diocese has decided they should merge and form one parish.  The church my family attended was the one that closed.  It really is a beautiful church and it makes me sad that it had to close. 

I did some sewing tonight after work.  I machine quilted one of the wall hangings with a loopy loop meander all over it.  I was pleased with the results.  Now it needs to be bound and have a hanging sleeve attached to the back.  I hope to get the other one quilted soon, also.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Two for one

So I finished the small wall hanging top and had all these pieces left over...  Seemed a shame to just throw them in the scrap bag...  So I made a second wall hanging!  I've got them pin basted and ready to be quilted.  I do like this pattern.  I might make another one in a different color scheme.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sew fun, half done!

Here's half of the wall hanging done.  I sewed for about an hour tonight before calling it a night.  I really like the colors on this piece.  The squares are tiny, one inch.

Here's Miss Ivy, prancing around on the deck.  She was eyeballing the water, I suppose.  Or maybe the duck.

Or maybe the alligator.

He's kind of hard to see, but that's the alligator.  He's this year's thermometer.  I won't let him float around once the ladder is in the pool, but for now he's enjoying a few laps around the pool every day.

When I got home from work tonight I was sitting on the deck, snapping these pics and just relaxing and decompressing after the day.  I am by no means a bird person, but this birds' nest has been interesting to watch (from a distance for me, the bird phobic) because it had babies in it in the spring.  I think they might have left the nest by now, but that mama bird didn't know the risks she was taking making a nest within Ivy's fenced in yard!  At some point I expected to see the dog below the nest with her mouth pointed up and wide open waiting for a baby bird to drop into it!

Back to work

Today is my first day back to work after three lost days of being sick.  I'm feeling better, but not 100% yet.  Hey, I've managed to stay upright for a few hours at a time, so that's an improvement!

I really would like to do some sewing tonight if I'm not too tired.  The blue wall hanging is languishing upstairs, half finished, as well as the Roll Roll Cotton Boll mystery.  If I do anything tonight it will be work on the wall hanging, because it's closer to being finished.  I get to a point in those detailed mystery quilts that I feel like I'm roadblocked.  So I just go around them and do other things until I'm ready to launch back into them.

Just going to order a pizza for dinner tonight.  I cooked last night, but after working today, I'm going to reward myself by not having to cook.  It will just be Ev and I, most likely.

Ivy is quite a character.  She really stuck close to me while I was home sick.  I think she is finally calming down.  She still jumps a lot, but not as much as she used to.  We need to get her under control with that.  Ev took her out to the old lake yesterday before he went to work.  He said he had a hard time keeping her from going into the water, which doesn't surprise me any.  That dog loves water.

Ev finished putting the caps on the rails of the pool.  The only thing left to do is put the ladder in and it is good to go.  That's no biggie, but he wants to scrub it down real good first.  Johanna called today and was wanting to bring Johnathon over to swim, but it might be a little too cool.  He's such a little fish, I don't think he would care, but she might not want to be in there with him if it's cold!  No one has been in the pool yet this year.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Internet and phone might be fixed

The phone/internet technician was here again today.  Third time is a charm, so let's hope it works properly now.  He found an outside wire that was worn through so he replaced that, thinking it might have been the problem.  So far so good.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Home from work again today because of this lousy bronchitis.  Would be nice if I could be sewing while I was home!

Johanna and Ben are having trouble with the house that he bought.  Something to do with the city water main breaking too much and the ground being over saturated and their basement walls being compromised.  I don't even have the energy to go into it, but it sounds like it's a mess.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I promise not to whine...

too much.  Went to the doc.  I've got bronchitis.  Got some cough syrup so hopefully I'll be sleeping like a baby tonight.  Doubt I'll go to work tomorrow.  Ugh.

Ivy is sticking to me like glue.  She is such a good dog.  And the cat is being a lover, too.  She lays on my chest, which feels really nice and warm, and just purrs a blue streak.

Haven't had reliable internet service lately.  Don't know what's going on, but it's getting on my nerves.

Haven't done any sewing.  Don't feel like walking up the steps.  Plus, it's pretty far from the bathroom and as much water as I've been drinking I can't stray too far!  lol. 

Here's a nice relaxing picture of the old lake to take my mind off things...  I love this lake!

Oh, and to add insult to injury, we got the word today at work that our hours would be cut, thus cutting our pay about 10%.  We will only work a half day on Fridays.  It could be worse, I could be without a job.  I'm looking for somewhere else to work, but the silver lining is that I will have Friday afternoons off to quilt!  Got to look on the bright side, there, right?

Well, since it's just me and the pets, I guess I'll go make myself some oatmeal for supper.  It's what I want and I don't think it will hurt my throat.  I'll put some fish sticks in the oven for Ev later on.  If I can stay awake...  haha.

Waiting for doc to open

Why is it my luck that when I feel like bunga dunga and take a day off work to try and get a doctor's appointment, the office is closed until 1 because they are getting trained on a new computer system?  AGH.  I feel so yucky, and really hope that I can get an appointment today.  I want doc to give me something for this lousy cough. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Summer colds are lousy

It's official.  I have a summer cold.  yuck.  Yesterday all I did was lay around and sleep.  I did hem the curtains Johanna wanted done and worked on the wall hanging for a few minutes.  Just didn't have much energy to do more, and that's okay.

Today we have our town picnic of sorts in the park.  It's called Ethnic Days because all the different churches and organizations in town set up food stands in the city park with different menus relating to their heritage.  It's supposed to be hot and humid today so I don't think I'll be up there long, but would like to sit under a tree and listen to my great uncle play music with his polka band.   That's always nice.

Nick spent the night here last night.  He's going to the park with us.  He told me last night he is really looking forward to cabbage and noodles!  We are invited to my dad's afterwards for a Father's Day cookout.  It depends on how I feel if we go or not.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Spaghetti on the stove

I'm making a mess in the kitchen....  We have been eating out so much that neither one of us wanted anything from a restaurant tonight.  I put together some spaghetti sauce and it will be done soon.  I also made a mess on the stove.  sigh.  Oh well.

Did a couple loads of laundry today.  I have a few more loads to do before the weekend is over, but that's not a big deal.  It's been raining off and on all day so it was a good day to get some things done inside.

I started another wall hanging.  It's a like a trip around the world in miniature.  I'm doing it in different blues.  So far I really like the looks of it.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Home again

I am tired from all the traveling I've done in the last few days.  Ev and I went to visit family up north.  Nick stayed home with Ivy.  We had a nice visit and because Nick was here, the dog didn't do any damage.  All is well! 

I have not done any sewing for a few days, but intend to get upstairs tomorrow and sew until my heart is content.  Best laid plans of mice and men... hope I get to do what I want!  haha.  I think about the only thing that would stop me is if I don't feel good. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Done and on the wall

 Here is the wall hanging I finished last night and hung over the door.  I don't know why this one picture turned sideways, but you get the idea. 
 Here is what the back looks like before I put the hanging sleeve on.
 Here is a close up of the quilting from the back.  Not my best work, but I'm not displeased.  For the first time following a stencil, and free motioning, I think it's okay.
 Johanna really liked this design.  It was the one in the nine patch blocks.  She wants a wall hanging in cream and green and wants just this design in the snowball blocks.  Sigh.

Here is some of the goodies that I got at the bulk food store.  I really only went in for the crushed red pepper flakes.  But, of course, I came out with snack stuff.  The bag on the left is honey mustard flavored rice puffs.  They were pretty good.  Middle bag contains pretzel balls.  Yum.  And the last bag has chocolate covered pretzels sprinkled with toffee bits.  Decadent!  And let's not forget the two homemade caramel squares.  Divine....

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fun day

 Look at all my goodies!  Three cones of thread, cross stitch stencils, bobbins...

 Material!  Material!  Material!

 And more material!
 Duck stencil....
Rabbit stencil!

Oh, I was in heaven!  The material was mostly $2 a yard!  Yes, $2 a yard!  And that last picture of material, of the full bolt, I was given!  The gal started to cut the one yard I wanted to buy, and as she unfolded it, she found a water mark and asked if I just wanted the whole bolt!  Who am I to say no?  I'm not too worried about a little water mark, and I'm pretty sure I can get it out in the wash.

The cones of thread are 6000 yards each.  I bought them for $1 each!  Totally awesome deal!  I think the red and green will come in handy around the holidays, maybe to quilt some Christmas quilts.  The stencils caught my eye and would be cute in a baby quilt.

The bobbins didn't fit my machine, but were only .98.  I'll give them to my friend who has a machine they might fit.  The stencils are of baby farm animals.  They are the old fashioned iron on transfers.  I'm going to make a baby quilt one of these days with some cross stitched squares like this. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bye bye froggies

If you remember from previous posts, the frogs by our pool kinda make Ev a little nuts.  Last night we ran the filter for the first time all night.  This morning there were 8 small tree frogs in the skimmer basket!  Poor little guys got caught in there and didn't make it.  I found another one floating in the pool.  Sigh.  Let's have a moment of silence....

I have not been feeling up to par today.  Yesterday just plain wore me out.  I haven't done any sewing, just being lazy, laying around and napping.  I did go to church and then to breakfast with the kids.  We also went to listen to Nick play at 12:30 for about an hour at a church picnic in a couple towns over.  He sounded really good.  Last night he dj'ed that wedding until late into the night.  He did a very good job.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cool morning

The heat seems to have broken, finally.  We had the storms through the night and more rain early this morning.  The sun is shining now and it looks like it's going to be a beautiful day for my two friends' daughters' weddings.  (that's a mouthful!)

Ev's not up yet, but I'm getting antsy for him to get out of bed so we can go get some breakfast.  It may be lunchtime by the time he finally is ready!  I had to turn the hose off so I could put some laundry in, but the water level is almost where it needs to be.  Last night's rain gave it a little boost, too.

Maybe I won't need to run the a/c upstairs today when I go sew.  That would be a nice change.  I like to have the windows open as much as possible, but refuse to be uncomfortable so will run the a/c when needed.  Not sure what I'll work on today.  Maybe just piddle around cleaning up in the sewing room.  Oh, I have to hem those curtains, so that will be something to work on.  Then maybe do a little piecing.

Storms moving through

We had quite a bit of rain in the past couple hours.  Lots of thunder and lightening, too. 

When Ev was due to get home I had just let Ivy outside.  Somehow the gate was open and she got out.  We were looking all over the house for her, then went out and saw the gate was open.  She came right home, but was soaking wet!

We have two weddings to attend tomorrow.  Sunday Nick is playing music and I'm thinking I'll go.  No plans as of yet for Monday.  Tuesday I'm considering going to Arthur and the Amish shops.

The pool is filling nicely.  It should be ready to run the filter and pump tomorrow morning.  Gonna blow up my floatie and get the iced tea ready!  haha.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Small wall hanging almost done

Here it is.  I haven't put the hanging sleeve on yet, but the quilting and binding is completed.  I am going to have to wash it to get the pencil marks out.  I hope you can see the quilted flowers and designs in the nine patches and borders.

The temperature has dropped and it's thundering and lightening.  It's in the distance so I don't know if it will reach us or not.  It won't make me mad if it cools off.

First day of vacation

Ahhhhh.  That's really all I can say.  I did have a busy day today.  Went to the foot doctor where I ended up getting a cortisone shot in my big toe.  Doesn't that sound like fun?  HA.  But, hey, if it helps, that's all that counts. 

Went to lunch with Johanna where she presented me with two pair of curtains she wants me to hem.  Sigh.  At least she already has one pair cut and pinned.  We had a nice lunch.

After Ev left for work I had a dentist appointment to cap it all off.  In between all these things, Ev and I worked in short spurts on the pool.  We are in the home stretch for it now.  Should be floating on a raft in a day or two with a big glass of iced tea in hand...  Ahhhhh.

I have the a/c on upstairs and intend to get up there in a bit and put the binding and sleeve on the wall hanging.  I think I'll put the sleeve on it long ways and hang it above the front door.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I did it!

I machine quilted my stenciled designs!  It's not perfect but the little wall hanging now has flowers stenciled in the snowball blocks and a design in the nine patch blocks.  I also did a little squiggly line in the borders.  Now all I need to do is put some binding on it and a hanging sleeve and it will be done!  Loving it!

Next I might work a little on Roll Roll Cotton Boll or maybe quilt the mystery top I just finished.

I'm thinking of driving to Arthur next week by myself to visit the shop with all the material.  The shop is having a yard sale so I'm thinking there will be some pretty good deals.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Auditioning thread

Ohhh, doesn't that sound important?  I'm 'auditioning thread'.  haha.  I pieced together some batting scraps, picked out a backing, and pin basted the wall hanging with the three 9 patches and two snowball blocks.  Then I laid it out with three different threads on it.  I'm not sure which one I will use.  Do I go with the metallic and be daring? Or do I go with the little spool of specialty thread I bought thinking I was going to be a great machine quilter in 5 minutes?  Or do I go with the old stand by of varigated blues?  Ah, decisions, decisions....

I put a patch on the inside of the liner where it was ripped.  Will wait to put the patch on the outside.  I texted Ev and told him I did this, and he texted back that I was to stop and go inside or he would come home from work!  Think he's a little paranoid these days?  I'm secretly liking it, but don't tell him!  Seriously, though, I was only outside for 15-20 minutes. 

I did go out around 10pm when I let out Ivy (who ate some more of the couch cushion today, by the way) just to sit in the fresh air for a few minutes.  The frogs were singing away.  It was so relaxing.

How dry I am...

In a totally unrelated (I think) incident, our little town was out of water from 2 a.m. until 7:30 a.m. this morning.  From the scuttlebutt I'm hearing, it was one of the big main lines that broke.  So I went to work without a shower (I did have bottled water to give myself a sponge bath at least!), and hope I don't smell!  haha. 

Tonight I'm going out to dinner with my dad and his wife for her birthday.  Nick will be coming along, as will my two sisters, so it will be a nice night out. 

I went upstairs last night and marked that little wall hanging with the snowball blocks and nine patch blocks.  I had some templates that I wanted to try out, so I marked the blocks with pencil.  Sure hope the pencil marks come out!  lol.  I think they will.  This will be good practice for me with my machine quilting.

I was going to pin baste the wall hanging and the mystery quilt, but it was just too hot up there.  I had turned the window a/c unit on in the other room and put the fan in the door way, but it wasn't cooling off very fast and I just couldn't stand it up there.  I think tonight I'll turn the a/c on an hour or so before I want to go up there, to get it cooled off enough for me to breath! 

One of my coworkers traded me 7 milk crates for something she wanted.  I think I'll use them for storage in the sewing room.  I have a lot of magazines and books laying around that need to be organized.  I'm thinking I may even put them in Johanna's room for now.

Monday, June 6, 2011

This is not an alien spaceship...

This is our water tower.  It looks so silly, like it has a crown and is wearing a skirt!  I believe that putty color is just a primer.  At least I hope so.  They have been working on sandblasting and painting it for a few weeks now.

The doc gave me a good report.  My labs were fine.  The nosebleeds are nothing to worry about.  Doc suggests a saline spray.  Guess I'll try it.

Made some sausage for dinner tonight.  Also made a big salad, corn on the cob, and a can of baked beans.  Pretty good eats.  And I've been nibbling on a pint of fresh blueberries all night.  They are really good!

Didn't do any sewing today.  Just didn't feel like it.

Waiting for appointment time

I'm home waiting for my appointment time at the doc's to get a little closer.  Not too much longer to go.  Hope he gives me a good report.

The mystery quilt top I put a picture of a few days ago was from the yahoo group qtmysteryquilts, for those who asked.  I really enjoy doing their mysteries.  I put another border on this top and plan to quilt it up soon.  I also found a small sample piece I made a while back, with three nine patch squares and two snowball squares in a line.  I put a small border all the way around it and I'm going to quilt it also.  It will make a cute little banner type wall hanging, I think.  Not sure where I will put it, but I'll find somewhere.  Maybe over the front door.

Ev has really been babying me.  He keeps telling me to stay inside, take a nap, etc.  And you know what?  I'm listening to him!  If I had listened to him in the first place I wouldn't have had a problem.  Of course, he had to leave for work and wasn't there to tell me to go in the house Saturday.  He's a good hubby.

Not sure what I'll make for supper.  I might stop at the grocery store after the doc's and pick up a package of sausage or something to make for Ev, and then make a big salad for myself.  This heat kind of takes away my appetite.

If anyone is keeping count, Ivy's bird total for the year is up to five.

Oh, and over the past few days we can add two rolls of toilet paper, a roll of cling wrap, a roll of aluminum foil, and a roll of bags for a seal a meal machine.  You could say the dog was "on a roll..."  hahahaha.

And another thing, while I was making Ev's sandwiches for work today she was watching and waiting to make her move.  I turned my back to get a couple of baggies for the two sandwiches, and when I turned back around, she was ever so gently pulling one off the table with her mouth!  It was too late to save the sandwich, so she got away with that one (I made him another), but I shooed her out of the kitchen pretty sternly.  I think she got the hint!

Stopped at Nick's around noon, when I left work today.  He had forgotten his keys last night (he was on the motorcycle, and it was his housekeys) so I dropped them off for him before I came home.  Wanted him to give me his laundry, but he didn't have it ready, so he will bring it tomorrow night.  I'm in no hurry for it if he isn't!

Got the hose in the pool.  It's filling, slowly but surely.  Johanna said her and Ben went looking for a different truck.  I think he is going to get this one fixed, as it's still under warranty, then trade it in.  I told her to tell him my suggestion is to get a truck with less bells and whistles, just some good old reliability would be nice.  I mean, seriously, who needs all those extras on a vehicle?  Yes, they are nice, but a lot of times they are nothing but an aggravation, and that's if you even use the features!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Trouble times three

Well, the pool is not finished, but it is progressing, slowly but surely.  Yesterday was not a very good day, though.  It started out taking a lot longer than we thought to drain what water was already in it.  Then when Ben and Johanna took the tank to get it filled at the old lake (where our water treatment place is), something happened to his truck and it got stuck in a low gear.  Well, that meant we could only put that one tank of water in, because he couldn't go get any more with the truck.  I don't meant to blow off that the truck was messed up, but he's had trouble like this before and it's under warranty, although I do feel bat that it happened while he was doing us a favor. 

When we started to fill it, one side of the wall started to cave in because we had the liner too tight.  Then when we went to let the liner loose, it got caught on a piece of metal and our brand new liner now has a pretty good sized gash in it.  Ugh.  I have not fixed the tear yet, but is is repairable, it just won't look all nice and pretty.  Oh well, there are worse things...

So, after being outside in the very hot weather for 6 hours (I thought it was only 4, but the kids corrected me), I was feeling pretty yucky.  I came inside and took a cool bath, thinking that would make me feel better.  Nope.  After about an hour and a half of being inside the air conditioning, I was feeling even worse.  I was drinking water, but it wasn't enough.  Started getting shaky and goofy, just knew something wasn't right.  Well, Nick was still home and I told him I thought he should take me to the emergency room.  I guess he knew better than I did that I was worse than I thought, because he just called 911.  Oh joy, my first ride ever in an ambulance!  ugh.  Long story short, I had heat sickness.  Hospital gave me fluids and got me back to normal.  Came home pretty late and I'm tired this morning, but pretty much okay.

It's raining now, and since we can't fill the pool by hauling water we are back to using the hose.  Maybe by the end of the day we can make a little progress on it.  But right now, it's low on my list.  I'm going to church this morning, probably out to breakfast afterwards, then I'm spending the day in the sewing room.  With the air conditioning on.   Wish me luck....  :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Warming up

The weather today was more than just warm, it was hot!  Well into the nineties with heat index into the 100's.  Not fit for man nor beast.  So we turned the a/c on!  And in a moment of decadence, I purchased a window unit for the upstairs.  Nick took the one out of Johanna's room with him since they don't have central air, and I was just roasting in the sewing room.  Decided to put the unit back in Johanna's room for now and have a fan in the doorway.  If that doesn't cool the sewing room I'll move the unit into my room.  I think it will work, though.

Went to Edwardsville with Diane tonight.  We went to Lowe's and then to Buffalo Wild Wings.  Was pretty good!  Brought Ev home some hot wings, I'm sure he will like.

Cut some border strips for the baby quilt top I just finished.  Hopefully sometime this weekend I will get to sew and maybe even finish that quilt.  I'm hoping the pool project doesn't take too much time, but that probably won't be the case.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Summer mystery quilt done

This isn't the best picture because the colors seem washed out, but they aren't.  The light diamonds are a pretty purple color.  I'm going to put a border around it, probably black.  I at least have the center of the top finished.  I would like to go ahead and quilt this right away, practicing my free motion quilting on the Kenmore.

Sure glad tomorrow is Friday.  Saturday we are planning to start early on the pool.  I sure hope we can get it up without any problems.  Ben and Johanna are coming with at least one tank, maybe two.  Nick will come and help for a bit before he has to teach.  Ev may have to work in the afternoon, but if we can get on it early, we will be far enough along that his going to work won't matter.

Ivy got another bird tonight.  I think that makes the total this year two.  It might be three.  She is definitely a bird dog.  Too bad we aren't hunters.  I screwed up my courage and picked up the bird on a shovel to throw it on the other side of the fence so I could let Ivy outside again.  Well, the bird was still alive.  Ugh.  My fear of birds sucks sometimes.  So I got a rake and used it to cover the bird on the shovel and eventually got it scooted out of the fenced area.  I sure hope it doesn't crawl back under the fence!

The gal that bought Sunset Restaurant was in my office today and we got to talking.  She has some quilt squares she may give me!  I'm kinda excited about this.  I hope she has some good ones I can use.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A comfortable evening

It was a warm and humid day today, but once the sun went down it cooled off nicely.  I went upstairs and did a little sewing on the Summer mystery.  I finished clue #6.  Only two more to go!  It's looking good so far and I'm liking my color combination.  Brights were suggested with one dark as the background. 

After I sewed I let Ivy outside and went to sit in the backyard with her for a few minutes.  One of the nice things about having a privacy fence is that you can go sit on the patio in your pajamas!  haha.  I had hung some solar lights around the deck of the pool over the weekend.  They really look nice and have added a cute touch.  I also hung up an old sign Ev had made for our camping lot the first year we were married.  We don't camp much anymore, but the sign looks really good on the deck. 

We have it lined up to get a couple water tanks for the weekend so we can fill the pool easier than using the hose.  We are borrowing one from Ben's family and renting one.

I didn't make dinner tonight.  Ev said he wanted to finish up the ribs and kraut from last night, so I had a night off!  I made myself a frozen dinner and a salad.  I just don't have a taste for much of anything these days.