Monday, July 30, 2012

Turkey Tacos Tonight

Dinner was quick and easy.  I shredded up a couple cups of the cooked turkey and added taco seasoning.  That was it.  Had the rest of the trimmings for tacos and dinner was served.

Tired tonight after work.  Stopped at my great-uncles for a short visit after work.  He is getting a few tomatoes from the garden and gave me a few.

I know I need to be starting a new project like I need a hole in the head...HOWEVER...I was reading some blog posts from last July and realize that was when I started on my much loved 36 patch quilt.  I'm thinking about making another one.  Maybe.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


It's kind of hard to see, but there is a lot of mud where there should be water right by that driftwood.  Ev and I took a ride out to the Old Lake this morning.  It's our town's reservoir.  With the lack of rain, the lake is very low.  This lack of rain is depressing.

Turkey and shirts

First, the turkey:
I got a hankerin' for turkey.  So I made one.  In the heat of Summer.  I didn't make all the trimmings, just mashed potatoes and gravy.  We have corn on the cob and fruit salad if anyone wants more.

Still cutting apart shirts.  Cut apart another five today.  Put them in this cute basket.  And it's full!
I have a lot more shirts to cut up.  Good thing the Olympics last 17 days! 

I really need to get those QBB bindings and labels attached so I can get them mailed off.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Snip and clip

Been watching the Olympics and cutting up shirts.  I cut five of the six that I bought today.  I didn't cut into the one with the embroidery on it.  Want to wait until I know what I'm going to do with it before I cut it, I think.

Broken resolve

I had resolved not to purchase any more men's shirts until I had the one's I have cut apart.  Well, I caved in today at the thrift shop because they had them for 49 cents (purple tags, today only!).  I spent a whopping $3 and bought 6 shirts.  Five were men's, and one was a woman's shirt.  I bought it because there were some really pretty embroidery characters from Disney's Lady and the Tramp.

Now, I have to get busy deconstructing them.  Going to take a page out of Bonnie Hunter's book and 'debone' them a quick and efficient way.  There's a link on her site, or look for it on Youtube.

I had also resolved not to be on Facebook.  Well, I broke down and got on it to enter a contest.  I think once the contest is over, I'll let it go by the wayside again.  Too much drama.  Way too much drama.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Let the quilting begin...

Tonight while watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympic games I picked out stitching that I had hand quilted on a top.  It's the top I named Tennessee August because I made it when Donna and I went to Nashville years ago for a quilt show. 

I realized I won't be doing much hand quilting anymore, and I'd really like to get this top finished and give it to my mom, so I picked out stitches.  It didn't take as long as I thought it might.

If I end up watching a lot of the games, which I may or may not do - I like the winter sports better, with the exception of gymnastics - I think I'll try and get some of those men's shirts taken apart so they are useable in piecing.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Grumble grumble

That's what I'm doing, grumbling!  I know that Paducah is next April, however, I had the bright idea to call some of the hotels, just in case the internet was not showing open rooms.  I found two places that had openings!  Now, before you get all excited, like I did, there were some major catches...and they were all Ben Franklins!  If I wanted to pay four times as much for a room that only had one bed and a pull out couch, my friend and I could stay in Paducah!  Hey, I know it's the American way to make a buck when you can, but it just seems wrong that they would upcharge by so much during an event week like that.  And one of the places had a 90 day cancellation policy, the other wanted prepayment and a minimum stay of four days. 

Marion, IL is a beautiful place....  :)  Thank you, Super 8, for not gouging me to stay an hour away from the venue.

I did not get a chance to practice my feathers last night.  Tonight I have to go out, so I doubt I'll get any practice in.  My hubby may be on 12 hour shifts from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. starting tomorrow and going 4 straight days, and yes, that includes Sunday.  If that's the case, I will have a lot of time over the weekend to sew.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Advance planning

I know next April is nine months away.  However, today I made hotel reservations for three nights during the quilt show in Paducah next year.  This may sound silly to some of you, but I challenge you to find a hotel room (at a reasonable rate) in Paducah right now, today, for that week of the quilt show.  Not happening, my friends.  The reservation is for a hotel an hour away from Paducah.  And I'm okay with that. 

One of these years I will get reservations in Paducah, though.  I would like to stay in the city because it would be nice to be able to take a nice break between the show and going to dinner or whatever in the evenings.  The city really caters to the quilt show attendees and has a lot going on that week.

But I'm not complaining about having to stay an hour away.  Going to enjoy it when the time comes, that's for sure.  Just in case, though, I think I might keep checking availability with the hotels in Paducah in case someone cancels their reservation...

Summertime, summertime, oh summer summertime...

This is like day 29 or something of excessively hot temperatures.  Is anyone else wishing for snow?

Last night my dad called and asked if he and my stepmother could come over tonight and see the longarm machine.  I've been talking about it for months now and he just hasn't had the time to get over to see it, or he's been sick and hasn't wanted to come. 

Since the Quilts Beyond Borders have all been quilted, I didn't have anything on the frame.  It's hard for a non-quilter to imagine how the whole operation works, so I went downstairs and loaded two pieces of muslin and a piece of batting onto the frame just to have something to show them when they come over.

And just because it will be loaded, I think I will use that practice piece to try and make some feathers.  I haven't really attempted any yet, so wish me luck!  Gotta start somewhere...

Still doing well on my diet.  I've lost 9 pounds so far - whoopee!  51 to go...  Hey, I'll get there.  Eventually.  Stopped at a roadside stand last night and bought a mess of tomatoes, peppers, corn and watermelon.  If it were possible to overdose on fresh garden tomatoes, I would be in the hospital.  Love, love, love 'em!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

7 and 8

Done and done!  Pics of 7 and 8 below!
Both tops were quilted with an all over meander.
Now that they are all quilted, I'm going to take a break for a day or two, then finish binding them and putting labels on them.

Time to watch Longmire!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

7 done

Yup, I finished quilting the 7th QBB today!  I would have a picture of it but the battery on my phone was dead, so as soon as I get my phone charged up I will take a pic and post it.  I have the last top, number 8, hanging over the frame waiting to be loaded and quilted.  Moving right along!

My friend told me she will have the tee shirt quilt pieces ready for me in a week or two.  I am making it for her, but she is preparing the tee shirts by cutting them apart and ironing on stabilizer.  I'll square them up, sew them together and quilt them.  That's one paying customer.

Another paying customer may be a coworker who wants a simple cover for her king sized bed.  She just wants two pieces of material quilted together simply.  She has the material purchased already. 

These jobs aren't what I'm wanting to specialize in, but I will certainly take them.  It will be nice to have a little variety.

I'm looking forward to having the QBB all quilted.  I think I'm going to go ahead and put the bindings on them before I send them back.  I'd like to put one of my own tops on the frame next.

6 done

I needed to lose myself in quilting tonight, so after I got home from work and made supper - just some bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches - I went downstairs and quilted the sixth QBB top. 
I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out.  It just has a simple meander quilting design.  The thing I need to concentrate more on with that kind of quilting is going at a steady pace so the stitches are all the same size.  I'm still doing all the tops in unregulated mode.  And I will admit it has been a challenge!

So now I have the seventh top and backing laying over the rails of the frame, just waiting for me to go downstairs tomorrow morning and work on them.  I'm assuming I will get plenty of time to do that, as Ev is working until 3 a.m. tonight.

Today was actually the first comfortable day in a long time.  We had 23 straight days of temps at 90 or above, with many of them being over 100.  It's not supposed to last, as tomorrow's forecast is for 98 and then back into triple digits for five days.  And no rain in sight.  It really plays on a person's disposition.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Looking forward

I'm looking forward to getting off work today and working on some quilting.  The temp is not in triple digits today so I might even go upstairs for a bit to do some piecework. 

Temperatures are supposed to go back up into triple digits on Sunday and stay there for several days.  I have never seen a Summer like this before. 

Please pray

Please pray for the families and friends of the victims in the Aurora, Colorado shooting.

It just hurts my heart to think about it.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


My quilting has been stalled these last few days.  It shouldn't be, because I have a quilt ready to go on the frame.  Here's a pic:

This is the sixth QBB top.  I love all the different materials and the mix and match quality of it!  When I do quilt it, hopefully soon, I plan to use a simple meander all over it, in a beige thread.  I did the last QBB that way and was pleased with it.

While reading through some old posts, I saw some pics of orphan blocks I have laying around.  I'm thinking I could mix them all up and make a couch throw from them.  I haven't done much piecing since getting Gemma.  New toy, you know!  haha.

Last night I cooked turkey sausages for dinner.  They were very good and low fat!  Loving that low fat part.  I've lost 7 pounds since I started this again.  My goal is to lose 60, so I'm happy to say that I have achieved over 10% of my goal!  woohoo!

Trying to convince my friend Donna to go to JoAnn Fabrics Saturday if my hubby is working.  Won't know for sure until tomorrow if Ev is scheduled to work or not.  He's been working some 12 hour shifts lately and has been pretty beat.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Zucchini Pizza Crust

For those wonderful readers who are interested in the pizza crust recipe from shredded zucchini, it's amazingly simple.  I didn't follow a recipe exactly, but if you want to do that, just Google 'zucchini pizza crust' and there will be several options.

My crust consisted of three main ingredients.  I used 1/2 cup of no fat egg substitute, 1/2 cup of fat free mozzarella cheese, and shredded zucchini.  I added enough zucchini to make it not soupy.  I tried to get as much water out of the zucchini before adding it as possible, even putting it in several paper towels and wringing it out! 

I added some spices, such as Italian seasoning, season salt, garlic powder and onion powder.  My 'dough' if you want to call it that, was a bit too wet, and next time I will try to get more of the water out of the zucchini and start with less of the egg substitute. 

I sprayed a pizza pan with non stick spray and spread the mixture as thin as I could get it without holes in it.  When I baked it, I was baking it with a meat loaf at 350 and it took a long time.  I even had to get it off the pizza pan and bake it on a wire mesh rack for a while because it was staying too wet in the center.  This part of the process is going to be trial and error, but will be a yummy experience!  lol.

After the crust was as firm as I could get it without it getting burnt, I added tomato sauce, turkey pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, and more fat free cheese.  I put it under the broiler for a few minutes, to melt the cheese.

Since I'm doing Weight Watcher's points again, I figured this entire pizza, and it was a large one, to be only 8 of the old points!  That's a point a slice after I cut it into 8 sections.  I only ate 4 pieces last night and was full. 

This is definitely something worth working on, but even if I did it exactly the same, it was good and satisfied my taste for pizza.  And I felt like I could eat the entire thing if I really wanted to.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Chicken mix and match recipe

Yesterday I used up some leftovers along with a few new ingredients to make a dinner for Ev that he really liked.  Since I seem to just make these dishes up, sometimes I don't always remember them when I want to make them again.  So, I'm going to put the recipe here on the blog and maybe I'll be able to find it again when I need it.

Here's what I did.  I boiled a couple of chicken breasts and cut them up.  I took the kernels off the two leftover corn on the cobs, cut up what was left of the portabella mushrooms I grilled, and cut a couple of the boiled new potatoes into cubes.  I put some garlic butter in the skillet and threw everything in.  After a few minutes I added a can of cream of mushroom soup and a little milk.  Then I added some cooked spaghetti.  Ev raved about it.  I'm hoping he will keep his appetite so he doesn't lose weight in this heat.

Good news for me

Today I got some good news from the doctor which really eased my mind about some issues I had been having.  Now, maybe I can relax and put my mind to other quilting!  :)

Tonight I made something unique that really tasted good.  I made a pizza crust out of shredded zucchini and put regular toppings on it.  I liked it a lot and it was low fat and low calorie.  I'm back on my diet and have lost 6 pounds already!  This time I'm determined to get healthy.

Been very hot again.  At six p.m. tonight it was still 102.  The weatherman said it will still be 90 at 11 tonight.  I really do not like this heat.  I have been in the pool a lot more than usual, though!  Today, after the doctor visit, when I got home Ev and I took a dip before he had to leave for work.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Dog igloo?

Does anyone remember when those mini igloo shaped doghouses came out several years ago?  I do and I always wanted to get one for my dogs, however our dog(s) are/were inside 90% of the time and didn't need one.  At least, not at the price they were, they didn't. 

Anyway, where I'm going with this is, when I was driving through the country yesterday afternoon I saw a doggloo - in the middle of a lake!  Now, I don't know if it was on a wooden raft and floating there, or if there was an island I couldn't see, or if it was an optical illusion, but it was funny to see!  There were a couple horses fenced in with the pond, but I don't think they would fit in the doggloo.  I'm wondering if there is a dog who likes to swim on the property.  Maybe not.  Maybe they have it out there for waterfoul.  Could it be a duckgloo?

Blog training

Although I have been blogging for years, I am by no means an expert.  I can post a picture with my text, but that's about it.  This is my first attempt at 'scheduling' a post.  Sometimes I have a lot of ideas and thoughts to share, but don't want to put up post after post on the same day, then nothing the next day.  I'd like to figure out how do more things with the layout.  Over time, I have picked up a little bit of knowledge, but then Blogger slams me by changing their format!  haha.  Really, though, Bloggers changes have made things easier, for me, anyway. 

So, I'm scheduling this to post in a couple hours.  Hope it works!

Full picture of #5

I realized I only posted a picture of the close up quilting of number 5 QBB!  Oops!  Here's a pic of the quilted top.
I'm leaning toward having a private binding party of my own.  Binding is not my favorite part of quilting, but it just nags at my conscience to send them back not completely finished.  This may change, depending on when I get them all quilted.

Grilled shrimp

Here's how I prepared the shrimp I grilled yesterday. 

2 packages of the largest size shrimp, raw, frozen (I got mine from Wal Mart and I think each package was just shy of a pound)

Oil - I used canola, but I think any light oil, including a light olive oil, would be good. 
Lemon Juice
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Seafood Seasoning - I used Chef Paul Prudhome's brand

I allowed the shrimp to defrost in the refrigerator overnight, then, under running cold water, peeled and deveined them.  After draining, place in a bowl.  Splash a small amount of oil on them to lightly coat them and a splash of lemon juice.  I used about a tablespoon or two of lemon juice.  The chives and parsley were dried, and I added about a tablespoon each of them.  Add about half a teaspoon each of garlic powder and onion powder, then about a quarter teaspoon seafood seasoning.

I was real sparing with the seasonings because I did not want anything to overpower the shrimp.  Sorry there are not exact quantities.  I think I could have gotten by with not using the seafood seasoning because when I read the ingredients they included the garlic and onion powders.

To cook them, I sprayed a disposable grill mesh that is made for grilling fish and vegetables.  I placed this on my heated grill for a minute before putting the shrimp on it.  My grill is gas and I had it on the lowest setting, both burners. 

After placing the shrimp on the grill in a single layer, I closed the lid on the grill for about a minute.  Then I flipped all the shrimp over and closed the grill again for a minute or so.  All of the recipies I read said a minute on one side, then half a minute on the other. I was afraid of burning them or drying them out, so I kept the heat very low and just let them cook until done.  You know they are done when they are white all the way through, not that greyish raw color.  Mine did take longer than a minute and a half. 

My husband said they were the best shrimp he had ever eaten! 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Number six is loaded

The sixth QBB is loaded and ready to quilt!  The last one didn't take long at all, doing the simple meander, so I'm hoping this one is the same.  My only concern is that the top I have loaded right now has a LOT of seams and many different types of materials.  Not going to borrow trouble, just going to see how it goes.  And, I have no illusions that I will get anything done on it tomorrow after work.  Monday nights I'm usually pretty wiped out.  Tuesday I have a day off work, so maybe I can get some quilting done after my doctor appointment in the morning.

I've been watching a new series on A & E called "Longmire".  I liked it so much I downloaded a Nook book in the series that the t.v. show is based on.  I like the book as much as the show.  Good read.

Pretty x 2

 Johanna has been keeping the flowers watered and they have shown their appreciation by looking so pretty!  With all the brown grass and dried up leaves falling off the trees, these are a bright spot in the yard.
Here's a close up of the quilting on the 5th QBB top.  I finished it this morning and am getting ready to put the 6th one on the frame.  I think I'll just do a nice simple meander like the one above on it, also.  Hey, I know that my quilting on this wasn't perfect, but it's getting a little better with each quilt I do.

I used the Superior Thread, Omni, and like the way it flows through the machine.  There was a nice sample collection of threads that came with my machine.  I also have a lot of all cotton thread that I like to use.  It throws off a lot of lint, but I just use my little air compressor and blow it away.

Before I go downstairs and load the 6th QBB, I am going to clean those shrimp I bought yesterday and marinate them before I put them on the grill today.  Really looking forward to them!  Yum!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Avoiding temptation

So I'm quilting the fifth QBB top now.  It has been so tempting to do a stitch regulated panto, just to move them along faster.  I've forced myself to not use the stitch regulator and do these all free motion.  I'll be better for it, gaining valuable experience.

So I've been back on my healthy eating plan for a few days, plus exercising.  I feel better about myself, doing this.  I just have to stick to it!  The benefits are phenomenal when I lose weight, so it is definitely something I should do.

Tomorrow we are going to grill some healthy food.  I have some portabella mushrooms and some big shrimp.  Looking forward to it.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fourth one done

The fourth Quilts Beyond Borders quilt is quilted.  Hoping to put the fifth one on tomorrow morning.  I didn't go downstairs with the intent of quilting, in fact it was after 9 p.m. when I started working on it.  It took about an hour to finish up on it and I'm glad I did it.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


It's one more day until Friday...  sigh.  I have not done much of anything at home this week.  Just been too tired after work.  I guess it's a combination of going back to work after having most of last week off, and of dealing with 10 days of horrific heat and now more heat (yeah, like the 90 degree temps are a relief...).

I also know that I really need to improve my health.  I'm going back on my diet.  It's time to get healthy.  Period.  Today was the first day, and so far so good.  I'm going to eat better and exercise. 

Haven't done much sewing this week, but I intend to finish that fourth QBB soon.

This week at work they have been hanging siding.  Today and yesterday they were right outside my window, pounding away. 

When I went to lunch today, I just took a salad over to the park and sat in the shade to eat.  The trees are losing their leaves already, because of the lack of rain.  It's sad.  I'm guessing the Fall foliage will not have much color this year.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

All Star Game

I'm just having a lazy night watching the All Star Game.  No sewing.  I did do some laundry.  Today at lunch I went over to the thrift store and picked up five new to me tops that I can wear to work.  Got them all washed and dried, so I can wear one of them to work tomorrow.  I need to get some more slacks or capris.

Yummy supper last night

Looky what I made!  I took some of the uncooked, packaged flour tortillas and made them into bowls for taco salads.  I didn't buy the 'as seen on t.v.' baking pans for them either.  I just bought three aluminum foil pans in about the right size for .99 cents and used them.  The bowls aren't real big, but they held enough for a nice taco salad for me.  I also baked some small corn tortillas on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray and with season salt on them.  They were good, low fat chips.

I was so tired last night when I got home from work, after I made dinner I just plopped on the couch and fell asleep!  I don't think it was even 7 p.m. when I started dozing off.  So of course there was no quilting done.

I have got to get on track and get started on quilts for Christmas presents, if I'm going to do that.  Haven't completely commited to it yet, but better make up my mind soon.  Time's a wastin'...

Sunday, July 8, 2012

One step forward and two steps back...

Sometimes I feel that's what I'm doing on the longarm!  Today I have been a quilting fiend and almost have the fourth QBB quilted.  I turned the take up reel for the second to the last time and what do you think I found?  Loops.  Ugh.  It seems to be confined to a spot where the backing material was different, so my plan is to continue quilting the rest of the quilt, then roll back to the offending area and pick, pick, pick.  Not one of my favorite things, but it will have to be done.

Here's a sample of the quilting I'm doing on the top:

I did a spiral in the one border, a loopy meander in the light brown and a diagonal swirl in each block.  It was one of the blocks that had the loops on the back, so at least the picking will be of mostly straight lines.

My darling husband was being goofy this morning and was dancing around the room.  I snapped a picture, but it was too late - he had already turned around.  Here it is anyway::

He's so funny.

Nick is on his way home from camping.  I'm glad because I want him to check all our computers to make sure we are going to be able to get online tomorrow, since there is that scare with the DNS malware that I really don't completely understand and really don't want to try and understand...  I like the way the guy on the youtube video put it "If you are one of the IT savvy people please help your friends and family that are not" or something like that.  hee hee hee. 

Johanna is making some tilapia filets for dinner and they smell divine! 

Onward and upward

Well, maybe not upward...  I'm on to the fourth QBB top.  This one looks very sophisticated to me.  It has coffee cups and designs in it.  The piecer did a nice job on it and I want to do it justice.  Here it is before I put it on the frame:
Isn't it pretty?  I'm a little apprehensive to start quilting on it, because I don't want to ruin it!  I have it loaded and ready to go.  Wish me luck...

I decided that the varigated thread I was using was the culprit of most of the tension issues I had on the second QBB top.  The last one I did, the third QBB, I didn't have any tension issues, which was really really sweet.  Hey, maybe I'm starting to get the hang of this longarm quilting!  hee hee hee.  And I still love, love, love it! 

Yesterday I was finishing up on that top and getting ready to load this one.  Well, I just happened to glance at the clock and it was 11 minutes after 6.  I was supposed to be at my nephew's birthday party at 6.  Oops.  I just shut everything down and walked out the door.   Austin turns 16 this week.  Going to be a big dude, driving and everything now.  woohoo! 

I guess my point of the last paragraph was that I just seem to get lost in my quilting room, just like I do in my sewing room.  What an absolutely wonderful escape.  There have been times, and long time blog readers certainly know this, that I have gone weeks, even months, without sewing.  They were times when I had a lot of issues on my mind and it was hard for me to let go of them long enough to think of anything else.  Those are the times when I should have forced myself to sew.  I feel that if I just would have started sewing, I would have been able to escape from everything and come out feeling better.  Does that make sense?  I'm going to make a conscience effort to do that next time things get rough.

Today we may finally have a day where it does NOT get into triple digit temperatures.  The past ten days have been unbearably hot.  I think we topped out at one point at 108.  Even the pool water is very warm.  I was thinking it might even be warm enough to poach an egg in last night when I felt it!  haha.  yuck.  Anyway, my swimsuit is in the dryer as I type this and I plan to spend some time in the water today.  It probably won't be until later in the evening, though.

Ev and I are going to have lunch at a place about half an hour away that has gyro's.  Ev loves gyro's and you can't get a good one anywhere close to us.  Not sure if I'll get one or not.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Third one done

In case you didn't figure it out - I didn't get to Arthur yesterday.  My friend couldn't go.  That was why Johanna and I ended up in Fairview - I had the bug to fabric shop, even if I didn't buy any fabric.

Today I finished the third Quilt's Beyond Borders.  I did a small stipple/meander on the entire quilt.  I changed thread colors for different areas.  The border was all done in yellow thread, which was hard for me to see.  I always did have trouble seeing yellow for some weird reason.  In the solid squares I used a blue thread and in the rail blocks I used red.  There was a solid red in those rail blocks that the thread was difficult to see in also.

So it's waiting for binding, now.  I still haven't decided if I'll bind them or send them back unbound, but I'm leaning towards binding them.

The next QBB I'm putting on the frame is real pretty.  It's got different coffee themed squares.  I'm wondering how to quilt it, of course.  That seems to be a sticking point with me now, but I'm determined to get past this being a roadblock.

Friday, July 6, 2012

A new book

New to me anyway.  Today Johanna and I went shopping and out to eat.  We made a couple stops together, then I dropped her off at Kohl's and I went to JoAnn's.  Would you believe I only bought two things, and neither were fabric?  I bought batting for the Quilt's Beyond Borders and a new (to me) book of quilting designs.
There were a few books that had quilting designs but I thought this one was the best choice.  At one point, I guess my brain quit working because I kept looking through the book and on the back cover trying to find out how many designs were in it!  Duh - 501 Quilting Motifs!  I'm such a dork.  To be fair, this is day 9 of triple digit temperatures.  I'm sick of this heat...

When we got home, my friend Lori came over with her married daughter and grandson to swim.  We were out there for about an hour.  It wasn't horrible, being outside in the pool, but once you got out, it was yucky.

Here's Lori and I in the pool.  Lori managed to keep her glasses on and not get her hair wet!  I've known Lori since first grade, although I moved away for quite a while, when we moved back, Lori and I were friends right away again. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Another quilt in progress

Here's a corner of the quilt I have on the frame now.  It's another charity quilt for Quilts Beyond Borders.  It's quite colorful and a real pretty top.  I got a little stuck on how to quilt the squares.  I'm doing a small stipple/meander in the yellow gingham border.  It's in yellow thread.  I'm thinking that I'll do a brick pattern in the rail blocks in yellow thread.  Then maybe a small stipple/meander in blue thread in the other blocks.

Nick decided to go camping for a long weekend.  Ev and I stopped at the store and bought him some stuff to munch on.  A camping care package for a 21 year old.  No beer in it - he can buy that himself if he wants it.
I'm going to Arthur tomorrow morning to meet my friend Mary and to do some shopping.  I love going there.  This will be the first time I've seen the new place where my favorite shop moved to.  Hope it's nice.

I'm looking forward to getting some fabric there and then getting some spices and herbs at my other favorite store.  The last time I went I bought some frozen rhubarb.  I made a couple strawberry rhubarb pies and gave one to Uncle Ray.  If I get some tomorrow I'll have to make him a pie again.  He's been giving me zucchini and cukes out of the garden already.  I'm anxious for the tomatoes to get ripe, but who knows if they will - we badly need rain.  This is the 8th consecutive day in triple digit temps.  It's getting really old.

The extension bed for ruler work arrived today.  I don't like it one bit.  I'm going to return it and get the other one.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Can you guess what this is? (and Happy 4th of July!)

Here's today's mystery object!  Can you guess what it is?  I'll give you a hint.  I use it when I'm working on Gemma.  Oh, and it's not a remote control!  I spotted it while in line at Rural King today.  It was on the 'impulse buy' shelf in the checkout lane, and I am sure glad it was.  Give up?  It's an L.E.D. flashlight.  It has two areas of light.  One is the traditional area on the end and the other is the flat surface that looks like little buttons in this picture.  And it's magnetic!  I didn't discover this until I got home, but what a handy feature that is!

The wide area of light is absolutely perfect for looking at the underside of the quilt.  Since my tension issues on the machine have now made me paranoid, I do a lot of bending down and trying to see under the quilt.  This light is perfect and is extremely helpful.  Since it's magnetic, it also gives me a hands free view when I put it on the table and might want to clip a thread underneath.  In fact, I just keep it hanging under the machine, stuck to the metal table.  Love this new toy!  All for the low price of $7.99.  Pretty cool, huh?  Yes, I have been told it takes very little to amuse me...

I finished quilting this second charity top today.  I really like how the piecer put this together.  There just seems to be a nice balance and symmetry with these rows.  She didn't have all sports themed fabric so she put strips of white muslin in between some of the rows.  It really works.
I like the backing that was paired with this top if for nothing else, just because it is so busy.  This helped to hide some of my not-so-hot quilting.  Again, this top was done without the stitch regulator.  I just keep telling myself there is a learning curve here and practice makes perfect.  It's great that I'm having so much fun while practicing, too!
And what would a Fourth of July blog post be without a picture of the grill full of food?  The top rack was the designated vegetarian area for the evening, holding thick slices of zucchini for my darling son.  Below, browning ever so nicely, were six shish ka bobs.  Four were beef and two were pork.  They were premade at the meat counter of our local IGA store and they were fantastic!  Yummy!

Hope everyone had a nice Fourth of July and even more, hope everyone had a SAFE day.  God Bless the USA!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Decisions, decisions

This picture is off of the Nolting website.  It's one of the ruler bases they offer for my machine.  I have a choice between it and the one below, also a pic from the Nolting website:
The one on top is about half the price of the one below.  I'm going to try it out first and see if I like it.  If I don't I will return it and purchase the one pictured below.

I tried to do some straight lines, using a block of plexiglass about 4" square, without a ruler base.  It was difficult because even a piece that size kept wanting to slip off the machine.  I think a ruler base is definitely needed for any kind of ruler work.

I have to say, I like the looks of the bottom one better.  Of course, I would - it's more expensive!  haha.  There I go again with my champagne taste and beer pocketbook!  haha.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Day five of 100+ temps

Yup, this is the fifth day in a row the mercury has risen to 100 or more.  I think it's fair to say I'm pretty sick of it.  It did cool off a bit tonight when the wind kicked up around 6.  Felt pretty good.  Wish it would have blown in some rain.

Didn't sew tonight.  Johanna and I did some grilling.  We grilled burgers and sausages and zucchini.  Also made corn on the cob and a cucumber salad.  Pretty good eats.

One more day of work and I'm off for five days.  Sigh.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

So close, but yet so far...

I am so close to finishing this quilt, but I just had to quit for the night. My feet were hurting (more about my feet in a minute - bet you can't wait!).  As you can see from this picture, there are several rows of varying widths in this top.  It's been challenging and fun to quilt.  I am very appreciative of the busy multicolored back!  It hides a multitude of sins...
 Here's a little corner of my quilting world.  The longarm is to the left of this photo.  See my cute little air compressor on the floor by the desk?  It's a 'pancake' model, which just makes me smile for some strange reason.  That's the new light I just hung there above the desk.  Everything is plugged into a surge protector on the wall, so all I have to do for my lights to come on is hit the switch.

The bobbin winder is on the desk and I have some baskets with thread in them in the storage area of the desk.  The old t.v. serves it's purpose, but for the most part, I leave it off.  There's my big roll of batting nestled in the corner there.  Haven't used any yet because these charity quilts asked for poly batting and the big roll is cotton/poly blend.  80/20.  I have a couple of storage baskets sitting on the table with the t.v.  They hold a miscellaneous assortment of things like cut off pieces of batting and a few tools.

Oh, and the water heater is right there, in case you didn't see it...  haha.  The area behind the water heater and the desk with the t.v. is where my washer and dryer are.  I get a lot of laundry done while I'm down there quilting.  I kind of like having the washer and dryer running in the background while I'm quilting.  It's not deathly quiet, but it's also not noisy.  And the washer and dryer chime a cute little tune when they are done.  Always a treat to hear that...
Now, what you have all been waiting for - my feet!  Or rather, my socks.  Since I have so much trouble with my right foot - issues I won't bore you to tears with, I am supposed to wear my shoes with the orthotics in them all the time.  I also love to go barefoot.  I compromised, by wearing the soft fluffy socks today.  Okay, okay I know they aren't helping the foot issue, but at least I wasn't standing on the cold, hard concrete without anything on my feet.  They also served another purpose.  Being ever so lazy about threads, the floor seems to collect a lot of them.  Enter fuzzy socks.  If I wear these socks, I end up picking up most of the threads, and believe me, today there were a lot, on the bottoms of them as I walk back and forth!  Pretty cool, huh?  Multi tasking socks.  Will wonders never cease? 

Oh, and in reference to the above picture, my great grandfather always said I had Aunt Agnes' ankles...  Gee, thanks, Grandpa...  God rest both their souls...

Okay, enough of my weird mood.  Quilted for hours today, even after we came back from supper.  Then got in the pool for an hour.  The water is pretty warm, which is no surprise.  That's how I like it!  Nick got in for a bit with me, too.

Back to work tomorrow.  I only work two days this week, so that's not so bad.  Hope to get that little bit of quilting done and get another one on the frame before Wednesday.

Kind of doubt there will be many fireworks this year.  It is just horribly dry and would be a serious fire hazard.

A break, in more ways than one

I'm taking a break from Gemma, after two hours of quilting.  I have been having thread breaking issues and think I finally got things straightened out.  It was frustrating, but I persevered.  (don't get to use that word too often...kinda like it... )  Anyway, I did a bit more quilting after I (hopefully) resolved the issue, then decided to take a break.  Ev and the kids are uptown and we are going to meet at the Brickhouse - formerly Tilly's - for supper.  They are on motorcycles, I'm going in the car.

Too hot to do anything outside

This is day four or five of 100 degree plus heat.  I'm outside as little as possible, so, instead of cleaning house, which is what I probably should be doing, I'm downstairs quilting on Gemma.  Here's a couple pics of the quilting I'm doing on this charity top.  I did not make the top, it was sent to me.

The top pic is the quilting in the borders.  The wide border is on the right side and is the outer border.  I'm doing a figure eight pattern in it.  The smaller, light blue is the inner border.   I'm doing a loopy design in it.  That border is about an inch wide and the wider border is about four inches wide.

The second pic is of some of the quilting designs.  This quilt is made of uneven strips so I thought I would do a different pattern of quilting in each row.  I haven't quilted each row yet, but in the one row is a line with tiny loops, kind of made to look like raindrops.  The next one is of a spiral design, and the third is just stacked circles.

More pics to come (Dora! :) ) !  Now I'm off to the basement!  I picked up a couple of dowel rods that I needed to help stabilize a table.  Going to see if I can't get that set up this week.