Saturday, June 30, 2012

Spoiled doggy

Do you think this dog could take up any more of the couch?  That's a full size couch and she is stretched out completely on it!  I think she likes the fact that there is a fan blowing in front of the couch, making it one of the coolest spots in the house!

Made some more zucchini bread today.  This time I put nuts in it instead of chocolate chips.  Took a loaf over to Uncle Ray's again although I thought he might still have some of the first loaf.  Well, when I got there he had some other family members there, so I'm sure it won't go to waste.

My friend Lori came over with her grandson tonight to swim.  We didn't get in the pool until 7pm.  The heat is still awful, but it was a tiny bit bearable at that time.  The baby is 18 months and just loved being in the water.  Johanna and her friend got in the pool and between the four of us, that little guy had the best time being pushed back and forth in his floatie.

And I know I'm guilty of not putting up enough pictures, so I promise to try and be better about it!  Sorry!

7 a.m. quilting

I woke up pretty early this morning and decided to go do some quilting.  Spent a couple hours in the basement working on Gemma.  I was quilting a top for charity.  I've decided to try and do all the quilting on these charity tops without using the stitch regulator.  I don't want to become too dependent on it.

When I was quilting, the bobbin thread was breaking frequently.  I loosened the top tension and that seemed to help.  This is all trial and error right now.  I am using a varigated thread, which may also have something to do with it.

After Ev left for work (he had to go in at 11 a.m. and has to work 12 hours today.  in this heat) I went over to the lumber yard in Staunton.  They sell plexiglass there and I wanted to see if they could cut me a piece to use as a ruler.  Well, cutting plexiglass is a difficult task, even for the guys that have all the right tools, apparently.  I had wanted two pieces of quarter inch thick, one 3/4 inch wide and the other 1-3/4 inches wide.  The clerk said he would have trouble cutting the piece to 3/4 inches, so I said okay, I would take one at 1-1/2 and one at 3 inches.  After breaking a few pieces, he finally got me one good edge on a 3" x 19" piece of quarter inch.  It didn't look good for getting anything smaller in quarter inch, so I thought, just for grins and giggles, I would go ahead and see if he could cut those sizes in the 1/8th inch thick.  He did that for me, no problem.

Now, I have absolutely no experience on the longarm doing ruler work, but with the quarter inch piece, I think I can do a few things okay.  The clerk was super nice and didn't even charge me anything because it was all out of scraps.  This is a lot better deal than having to buy the rulers online, which is what I was going to do.

I am slowly turning that room into quite a nice studio.  Yesterday I hung another shop light over the area where I wind the bobbins.  I'm thinking of putting a domestic machine in that area also.  Today I bought a box fan and put it in the corner, just to keep the air circulating a bit. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The proof is in pictures

This was the temp at 5pm today when I was going home.  It just zapped any energy I might have had right out of me.  When I got home I made spaghetti sauce and noodles for dinner, did a couple loads of wash, and that was it.

And here is the finished wall hanging up on the wall.  I like it.  Although, I will say that the one block just doesn't seem to fit in.  That's okay, I'm certainly not worried about it!

Record breaking scorcher

That's what we are having today.  Supposed to get up to 108 degrees.  yuck!

I think when I get home from work, after I make some dinner, I'll go and do a little quilting on Gemma.

Ev said the water meter reader was at the house today.  This is the first time he has seen the machine in the basement (water meter is in the same room).  He knew exactly what it was!  That just cracks me up.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wall hanging completed

It took me all of 48 minutes to cut the binding and the hanging sleeve and attach them to the wall hanging.  It is now complete.  Why do I put these things off when they hardly take any time at all?  I didn't put a label on it, but I did sign the back with my initials and the year in pigma pen.  Will post a picture of it hanging on my wall soon.  I wonder how long it will take my husband to notice it?  ha ha

Baked two loaves of zucchini bread.  The recipe had chocolate chips and sour cream in it.  I wasn't fond of the chocolate chips in the bread.  Next time I think I will leave them out and substitute nuts.  I substituted applesauce for the oil in the recipe.  Didn't notice any difference and liked the taste.  Less fat that way.  Nick took a loaf of the bread over to Uncle Rays.  He wasn't home but he has a spot where he checks whenever he gets home in case anyone left him any goodies!  And, since he is the one who gave me the zucchini in the first place, it was only right that I give him a loaf of the bread!

He had given me four zucchini and since I had the food processor out to shred one for the recipe, I went ahead and shredded all of them.  I put four bags in the freezer with two cups in each bag, and left a two cup portion in the fridge.  I don't know what I'll use it for, maybe more bread, but I didn't have any more freezer bags handy.

Hot time in the Summer

I am so grateful for air conditioning!  It's getting real hot in my neck of the woods.  Tomorrow it's supposed to be 106!  That's insanely hot.  I'm concerned about my hubby working in the factory in this heat. 

Didn't do any sewing or quilting these past few days.  Need to get off my rear and put the binding on the patriotic wall hanging at least.  And the hanging sleeve.  I might actually be alone tonight for a few hours, so this would be a good time to do that...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Hakuna Matata

Remember that?  From the Lion King?  I loved that movie.  When our kids were young we took them to see it at the theater.  They were maybe 3 and 4 years old.  It was one of Disney's very best movies in my opinion.  It was on t.v. last night, on some cable station.  And of course, I watched it.

Nick is almost home from his camping trip.  Sounds like he had a great time.  Can't wait to hear all his stories.  Johanna is out at the lake with a bunch of friends.

Donna came over tonight and we watched a couple episodes of Sons.  I think she's having withdrawl because it's not going to be on until September.  Gotta love that DVR and Netflix...

So, instead of making the zucchini bread like I planned, I sat and watched t.v. and ate  ice cream with my friend.  No sewing got done either, but that is okay too.  I did practice my doodles today with the intent of using them on the quilt that's on the frame right now.

Stopped to see Uncle Ray tonight.  He gave me a head of lettuce cut right from the garden.  It was very good.  I made blt sandwiches and then made a salad for tomorrow with it.  Can't wait for the tomatoes to start getting ripe.  YUM!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Lake dog

Here's our Ivy taking a swim in the Old Lake.  Ev and I took her out for a walk around the lake and let her sniff around.  We kept her on an extendable leash.  There were other people out there, some fishing from the bank.  She likes to run and jump on people and doesn't know a stranger, so we just kept her on the leash.  Plus, she likes to run and doesn't always come back when you call her.  We are working on that one.

I thought I would get a lot of quilting done today, but it's just been a lazy day.  I may still get downstairs and work on Gemma for a while, but if I don't that's okay too.

The lake was really low.  We really need some rain.  When we got home, I gave Ivy a bath so she didn't smell like lake water, then Ev and I jumped in the pool.  It was really refreshing.  Johanna had to work tonight and Nick is still camping.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Made hay while the sun shined

That's what I did.  Would you believe I quilted an entire quilt today on the longarm?  It wasn't a large quilt, maybe 44x50, but big enough to be on the machine.  It was one of the tops for 'Quilts Beyond Borders'.  I requested 8 tops and backs be sent to me for quilting.  This seems like a worthy charity and it will give me a chance to learn and use the longarm better.

I loaded up a second top and would like to finish it tomorrow.  QBB sends the binding along with the pieces, but says if you don't want to put it on, that's fine, they will have someone attach it.  Still on the fence whether or not I will bind them.  Probably will.

And I'm forcing myself NOT to use the stitch regulator.  I need to get good at using Gemma without it as well as with it.  Stitch regulation is great, but I can see it being a crutch, too.  I want to be good at using the machine in all ways possible.

We went out to have pizza tonight at a place in the next town.  It's a bar and restaurant.  The guys rode their motorcycles and I drove the car!  Picked up my friend Barb so I wasn't the only female in the group.  Her hubby was out of town overnight, so she was alone.  It was fun.  Johanna will be home later tonight so I'm sure she will eat some of the leftover pizza!  Nick is going to be camping until Monday.  Talked to him today and he sounds like he is having a great time.

Lazy morning

I have lots to do and just not getting moving here!  Waiting for the Ev and Johanna to wake up, then we can go to breakfast.  Nick went to Woodhaven last night with one of his friends.  Woodhaven is our family campground.  Ev and I don't go there so much anymore, but the kids really enjoy it.  My mom and stepdad have a camping lot there with a trailer on it.  They have had it since the 1970's.  My kids grew up going there and now that they are old enough to drive themselves they go every summer at least once, usually more.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Waiting for binding

Here's a pic of my patriotic wall hanging waiting patiently for binding:

I'm pleased that the quilting is finished on it, but realize I have a long way to go before I'm good at quilting on Gemma.  I chickened out and used the stitch regulator for the entire project.  Something new that I did was to put the laser pointer on the front end and quilt from the front of the machine using a pattern and the laser pointer.

So tomorrow night (hopefully) I will get it bound and put the hanging sleeve on the back.  Then I'll hang it on the wall and see how long it takes my husband to notice it!  lol

I still have several naughty blocks that wouldn't play nice (Diana and LaDonna :)) with each other.  I'm thinking they may go into the practice quilt.  Not sure yet.  I might be able to grit my teeth and throw them together with something that ties them all together in a lap quilt for the nursing home later this year.

Being picky

Yes, once again, I was picking out stitches...sigh.  I put the wall hanging on the longarm, even though it is small enough to manage on the domestic machine.  I stitched in the large outer border some loopy meander, then started stitching in the center blocks.  Didn't like what I stitched, so I spent precious time picking.  Again.  My eyeballs were about to fall out, so I quit last night about 8:30, but it was still on my mind.  This morning, before I left for work, I went downstairs and finished picking out the stitches, then adjusted it so it's ready to go tonight when I get home.  I found a design to use that I like.  My problem is that I just couldn't get the creativity going good enough to do something free hand.

Soooo, what I think I might do, is take a bunch of orphan blocks, the real dogs, and put them together in the ugliest combination I can think of.  Then when I want to quilt it, I won't be concerned about what it looks like!  I just can't bring myself to practice on two pieces of muslin for very long, because it seems like a waste.  I want to be quilting a top!  wah wah wah

Now that I have that whining out of my I think that's what I'll do.  Then it can go in the trunk of my car for emergencies, or on the floor in the basement for the dog, or out on the deck for Johanna to lay on by the pool.  It's not an issue of learning to use the longarm, it's more an issue of getting my creativity kick started.  I just seem to stare at the blocks and come up blank when it comes to figuring out what to quilt in them.  I did okay on the Words quilt, so I know I can do it.

My friend and I have planned to go to Arthur in a couple of weeks, since we didn't get to go a while back.  I have scheduled the Thursday and Friday after the Fourth of July off and she was able to get one of the days off also, so we are meeting there for a day of fun!  I'm looking forward to it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Patriotic top finished

I was able to finally finish the patriotic top tonight after work.  Remember how I had made ten blocks so far and only wanted nine in it?  Ha.  Well, that little wall hanging had other ideas.  I ended up only using four of the blocks!  Seems like no matter what I did, only four of those blocks wanted to play nice. I put some sashing and a couple borders on it and then took it downstairs.  I didn't load it on the frame, but intend to do that tomorrow.  Will get some pics up soon.

Monday, June 18, 2012


I think I have mentioned that both of the kids are back home right now.  Well, Darling Daughter is going through a rough patch and I just hate to see her in pain.  It's not physical, it's emotional, and I know she will get through it, but it hurts to watch and know that there isn't anything I can do to help.  Ah, life...

Didn't get to sew tonight.  My friend came over after I got home from work for about an hour, then daughter was home and we were talking.  Plus, I had some errands to run before I even got home from work, so my time was limited tonight.  I made sausage and eggs for Ev's dinner and I had leftover sloppy jo.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The 10th block

I have now made ten blocks for my nine block wall hanging.  Call me weird, but as I put them up on my design wall I think they all aren't playing nice together and I make another block.  Now, I think I might just have to make one or two more and I'll be done.  At least, I'll be done making blocks.  Then I'll have to layout the design and sew them together and quilt it!  sigh.

Hope all the dad's out there had a nice Father's Day.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Not sewing but still a good day

Didn't do any sewing today but I did get a little bit more of my area in the basement straightened out.  I bought a few baskets and am using them in my space.

Today was our little town's annual parade.  Ev and Johanna were on a motorcycle ride for Father's Day (I know it's tomorrow, but the ride was today) and Nick was at a friend's, so Ivy and I went up to Main Street and watched the parade.  It only lasted about 40 minutes.  Ivy was a very good dog for 99% of it.  She did not bark, whine, or growl at the sirens, or horns, or bands, or funny cars the Shriner's drive, or the people walking around in animal costumes.  She even went right up to a policeman who was in uniform to be petted.  She didn't blink when other dogs passed by.  The only time she got upset was when the one horse in the parade went by.

The horse's name is Queenie, and she belongs to a couple that live on the edge of town.  Once in a while they will take her out and give rides in their buggy (they charge for this, I think).  Anyway, when Ivy got a whiff of horse for the first time she stood up and started growling then let out a deep bark.  I immediately pulled her close and put my hand over around her snout so she could not bark.  She was submissive, thankfully, and got the message quickly.  I didn't have to hold it long, just half a minute or so.  Told her 'no' strongly, and that was it.  I was afraid, not that she would get loose, but that she would spook Queenie.  That would have been bad.

And, just like last year when Ivy sat on the deck with me to watch fireworks, I really think that she was watching the parade!  Her head would follow the bands or floats as they passed by.  Cracked me up.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Mix and match

That's what one of the patriotic blocks ended up being.  It was four four inch squares of different designs.  I also made one in a dutchman's puzzle pattern.  Just a couple more blocks and it will be ready to put together, then put on the frame.

I set up one of the kids' old t.v.'s downstairs near the longarm.  I don't plan on watching t.v. while I'm quilting but sometimes I would like to be able to listen to the news while sewing.  It seems like a waste to just sit on my patoot and watch the news when I really want to be downstairs on the longarm!  That's not to say that I don't enjoy plopping in front of the t.v. at times and not budging until bedtime...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Add a block, subtract a block...

That's what I did tonight.  I added a block to my patriotic collection and took one away to remake it.  It was the big pinwheel block that looked out of place.  The pieces were too big, so I cut it down to just being a smaller pinwheel for the center of a block.  Not sure what I will put around it yet.

The block I made was sixteen half square triangles put together.  I used the triangle papers to make the little blocks.  That's a good method for me when I have to make half square triangles.

I want to set up one of my machines in the basement so while the longarm is warming up I can be doing little things, like maybe string blocks or something.  I also want to get that Featherweight machine going.  I'm kind of roadblocked on it.  I don't want to tear it apart anymore because I think I'll be in over my head.  I found a Singer repair person in Springfield that seems to be familiar with them so Nick is going to run it up there for me one of these days.  Probably take it up there next Thursday.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A parade of pictures

Here's a picture of the completed "Words" quilt.  It's just going to be a couch throw, but I sure like it!  Here's the back:
Remember I had to piece an extra few inches on the back while it was on the longarm?  Not a big deal because it was my own quilt, but I sure would be nervous if it were someone elses.
Pardon my shadows, but here are a few of the blocks I'm thinking of using in the patriotic wall hanging.  Right now I'm thinking I will have nine blocks in it.

Had dinner with three of my friends tonight.  We went over to the Chinese restaurant one town over and sat outside and had a real nice time.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A finish

I finished the binding on my "Words" quilt tonight.  It was nice to escape into the sewing room for an hour or so.  I haven't put a label on it yet and don't know if I will or not.  I might just put my initials and the year on a corner.  Right now I have it in the washer.

Will have to take a picture of it soon and will post it.  I am anxious to see how it comes out of the washer and dryer.  This quilt was totally from scraps in my stash.  This was also the quilt that I was short on the backing on the frame.  Since it was for me and was mostly a practice piece, it wasn't a big deal.

Monday, June 11, 2012

A fox and a toad

For about a week now I have been meaning to take a walk down to the old church.  I had heard that there was a family of foxes living in the culvert down there.  Well, tonight, one of those foxes came trotting down to our end of the street just as I was getting home from work!  Just as pert as could be and not afraid of anything, that little brown fox was out and about!

Then, as I got out of the car to go into the house, there was a big fat toad sitting on the sidewalk right at the bottom of our front steps.  All I can think is that we had a bit of rain today and all the creatures were getting out and enjoying the moisture, since it had been so dry for so long.

When my friend and I walked on our break at work we saw two little chipmunks and a rabbit.  Quite the nature day today!

I made another block for my patriotic wall hanging tonight.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Pics, Update, and Thanks

Not necessarily in that order.  First, thank you to everyone who said a prayer for Sharon.  She did not get the transplant, and has been temporarily (hopefully) been removed from the donor list until an issue can be resolved.  Her and her family have been on a roller coaster ride, for sure.

And now for a few pics...

Here is the diaper trike that I promised to show you.  There are diapers, receiving blankets, a sippy cup, baby socks, bibs and other goodies on it.  It was really cute.

This is the baby quilt I made for the mother to be.  There are two different dinosaur prints and some mottled solids and a matching border print. 

Here's the back of the quilt.  I had to piece it to make it big enough.  I liked the way it turned out too.  The binding was made with different colors of the mottled solids.  That was kind of fun.

This picture didn't turn out very well.  I was trying to get a close up of the quilting.  I used a panto from Linda Taylor's book and a varigated cotton thread.

So my quilting on the longarm is coming along.  I'm still just having a great time with it.  I don't have anything on it right now and I'm feeling kind of lost...

I started a quick project today.  I'm making different block patterns out of patriotic fabric to put in a wall hanging.  So far I've made four blocks.  They are going to finish at 8".  I think I'll have 9 or 12 blocks in it, not sure yet.  Just kind of winging it.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Not in a bind

Nope, I'm not in a bind and I'm not behind!  I finished the dinosaur baby quilt for the shower tomorrow afternoon at 9:45 tonight.  Nothing like waiting until the last minute...haha.  I'll have pics tomorrow of the quilt and of the diaper trike. 

I ended up making the binding multi colored, even after I went to Wal Mart today to pick out some other binding fabric.  I like the way it turned out. 

Of course, while I was in the fabric department, some patriotic themed fabric jumped into my cart.  They whispered that they wanted me to make a wall hanging out of them.  Who am I to say no to whining fabric?  I have a couple ideas in mind, nothing fancy, just something quick and fairly easy so I can get it on the wall before the Fourth of July holiday.

On a sober note - please say a prayer for my friend's sister, Sharon, who may be having a double lung transplant tomorrow very early in the morning.  There are factors out of our hands that will determine if they operation happens or not.  Thank you.

Friday, June 8, 2012

In the home stretch

That's where I'm at with the baby quilt that's on the frame.  It has one and a half passes left to go and it will be quilted and just need to be bound.  Good thing, because the shower is Sunday afternoon!  Nothing like cutting it close...  haha.  I'll have it done by tomorrow afternoon.

Still tweaking the basement area where I sew.  I did some rearranging last week and tonight I hung up a shop light over the longarm.  I was going to purchase two shop lights from Wal Mart and hang them, but my husband and son convinced me to just try one first and see if it was enough.  And the good part was that there was a spare shop light from in the shed that we already had and I didn't have to go buy anything!  So now I have light over the quilt area and it helps immensely.  I think one light is sufficient.  I'll take some pics this weekend and post them.

Nick cracks me up.  Right now, him and a friend of his are sitting on the deck by the pool.  They have Nick's television out there on the deck and are streaming movies from Netflix to it!  It's like their own private drive in movie theater, and it's poolside!  How cool is that?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

One more day

Until Friday.  Sigh.

Tonight I did a couple more passes on the baby quilt.  I rolled it and have about four more passes and the quilting will be done.  Should get a couple more passes done tomorrow after work and then finish quilting and bind it Saturday.  Hopefully.

They are putting a new roof on the building I work in.  It's quite annoying to hear all that hammering all day long.  Tomorrow is the last day of it at least.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Pickin' but not grinnin'

My first experience with having to pick out stitches on the longarm was tonight.  I didn't realize I had bad tension on the bottom and densely quilting a square about eight inches.  It took a while to pick it out but all is well, now.

And for my friends who want to see pictures of the 'diaper tricycle' please be patient... I will take one when I go to the baby shower on Sunday!  Promise!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


I meant to get more quilting done on the baby quilt, but my friend, the grandma to be on the daddy's side, called and wanted help making a 'diaper tricycle'.  Okay, now I've heard everything.  Instead of a diaper cake for the shower (which personally I always thought was kinda silly) she wanted to make a diaper trike.  Well, we made it and it does look pretty cute, but all that fooling around took time and I didn't get more than 20 minutes of quilting done tonight.  Going to have to try again tomorrow night!

Monday, June 4, 2012

A lot of little things done, and some not so little

After working all day at the office today, I came home and got quite a bit accomplished.  I made Ev three rueben sandwiches for his dinner tonight.  I washed dishes.  I also made a crock pot full of cabbage rolls to put on tomorrow morning before I leave for work.

In the quilting department, I got the air compressor working and used it to blow out the lint from Gemma.  I started a pantograph pattern on the baby quilt I have on the frame and made two passes of it.  That did about a quarter of the length of the quilt.  As long as I do that much each night, I will have the quilt done in plenty of time.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Busy weekend

Quick post.  Didn't get to Arthur because my friend had to cancel.  Bought material at Wal Mart and made a top for the baby quilt for the shower next Sunday.  It's loaded on the frame and I'll start quilting it tomorrow if I can.