Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I've got sewing on the brain

During my lunch hour I ran to Wal Mart to pick up a few items.  While there, I thought I would take a stroll through the fabric department and see if they had any Valentine's Day fabric.  I need to make the kids each a bag for their goodies.

They had a few bolts, a pretty measly selection, but enough that I could get four different half yard cuts.  I'll make Nick, Johanna, Olivia, and Ben each a bag.  Then I can start throwing things in them a little at a time, like candy hearts and such.

Crazy weather!

Yesterday it was shirtsleeve weather, today it's back to winter coats and scarves!  Very windy and snow is predicted.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


I'm sorry I haven't been blogging much of anything interesting lately.  It's been kind of slow around here.  I have not been doing much sewing.  I did put the tee shirt panels together into four rows and they are ready to be sewn together.  They are patiently waiting for me, I just haven't gotten around to doing them.

I did join the local gym on a month to month basis.  I am going to try and go Monday, Wednesday, and Friday right after work for an hour.  Any exercise is better than none, which is what I'm getting now!

Weather is too warm!  I want snow.  It's January, not April! 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Ceiling Fan Woes

Rather aggravated.  Not in the mood to write much.  Worked on putting up a ceiling fan yesterday.  It worked for one minute then quit.  After replacing the wall switch today, it worked for about 20 minutes and quit.  We have decided there is a short somewhere in the ceiling and will tackle that next weekend.  urg.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Catching up

It may be that I'm doing things twice, by keeping a blog and keeping a quilt journal, but it's what I do. 

Usually I scratch down what time I start working in the sewing room or on Gemma and then what time I stop, on a scrap of paper.  I might put a little note by the times and date about what I did.  Then, when I have time, I will transfer what is on these scraps to my quilting journal.  Today I got caught up with entries.  I was way behind, having not made any entries since some time in November.

I've been keeping the same journal, just a simple composition notebook I made a quilted cover for, now since January 2011.  My entries are usually short and sweet, so I put more than one day on a page most of the time.  This is the second journal I have for my quilting and sewing.  When Ivy was a pup, she had a taste for my writings...  haha.

It's just something I like to do.  Sometimes I will go back and look at what I was doing last year at this time.  Sometimes I will add up the time it took to complete a project.  It's just a nice little record.  The blog is nice, and I have pictures on it for eye candy, but the journal keeps the time spent. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I lost the battle

The old zip code directories are in my car.  I didn't take them home yesterday, but they were patiently waiting for me this morning when I walked past the recycle bin at work.  Sigh.  I have no willpower sometimes.

I've been crochetting that scarf for my daughter.  It's about halfway done.  I want to get it finished as quickly as possible, so she can wear it in this cold weather.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The pack rat in me

We are throwing a lot of stuff out this week at my office.  Some of the things include these very large outdated zip code directories (thank you internet, for making them obsolete!).  These would be perfect pages for string piecing!  I want to go into the recycle bin and dig them out and take them home... 


I don't do much string piecing.  So I should leave them there.


If I had them, maybe I would do more string pieceing!  What's a quilter to do????

Monday, January 21, 2013

A crochet tale

This afternoon Johanna and I were in Wal Mart in the craft department.  She expressed interest in learning to crochet a scarf.  We picked out some yarn and got her her own crochet hook to start out with.

Well, she tried.  And ripped stitches.  And tried again.  And ripped more stitches.  Finally, she was so frustrated she couldn't see straight.  I'm thinking that crocheting isn't for her.

So I have a new project.  I'm crocheting Johanna a scarf!  :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013


I am going to strive to complete the nursing home quilts this year in a much timelier fashion.  I don't want to be doing that crazy hectic last minute stuff again.  There are usually around a dozen quilts that need to be made, so if I loosely say I will make one a month, that should get me to a good point by Fall when I will have a solid count.  Most of the time there is an overwhelming majority of women in the nursing homes, so it will be safe to make them with colors suitable for ladies.

As a thank you, one of the daughter in law's of a nursing home resident gave me a bag of goodies yesterday.  I haven't really gone through it, but it looks like most of the stuff is wall hangings and novelty sewing projects.  This isn't the type of thing I normally do, obviously, but I'm thinking there may be a way to turn them into holiday quilts.

Jumping in to the next thing

Today I am going to start working on the tee shirt quilt for a customer.   It's been a slow start on this project, but not really because of me.  When I finally received the pieces for it, it was the middle of the holiday season and I told the customer that it wouldn't get started until after the holidays.  They are fine with that.  So here it is, mid January, and I'm ready to go on it.

There are a lot of other projects I would like to be working on for myself, so what I think I will do is give myself one hour a day to work on the tee shirt quilt, then if I still feel like sewing I can switch over to one of my projects.  I think that's pretty reasonable.

I also have to keep in mind that I promised a quilt for the church auction later in the year.  It will need to be done by early June.

Pics of Rita's quilt

The front, back, and label of Rita's birthday quilt.

I hesitate to put this in writing, but my goal this year is to make a quilt for all  my siblings' birthdays.  To clarify, I am an only child with 6 brothers and sisters!  haha.  That happened through my parent's remarrying.  Anyway, I'm going to have to keep my nose to the grindstone if I want to accomplish this, that's for sure!

Another home project

Saturday Ev and I took a trip to Lowe's and picked up a ceiling fan and light fixture for the dining room.  Our dining room really isn't used as such for a variety of reasons.  We don't even call it the dining room.  It's just the 'room with the stairs' or the 'sitting room', which sounds so stuffy it makes me want to gag. 

Anyway, the ancient upright piano we have, which weighs a ton and probably will never be moved, at least not in one piece, is in the room and is against the wall with the light switch.  The light switch is behind the piano and also has a couple of outlets on it that are only live when the light switch is turned on.

I'm  not a very tall woman and don't have freakishly large arms, therefor it has always been difficult for me to turn the light switch on and off because I can't reach it.  I used to keep a yardstick handy, but long ago just resigned myself to not being able to get at the switch.  I placed a thrift store floor lamp in a different corner of the room and called it good.

Nick has set up his computer in the room now and it would really be nice to be able to use that outlet, however I wouldn't want the overhead light to be on all the time.  The solution for us is to put up a fan with a light that has the little pull chains so I don't have to keep reaching behind the piano for the switch.  This will also be good because it will help cool the kitchen a little bit, being right next to it.  The way my house is laid out, there aren't doors between the kitchen, sitting room (gag) and front room.  They are all in a row, with the kitchen and front room on the ends.

So that's the next project on the home improvement agenda.  I don't know if it will get started this weekend or not, but at least we have the fan bought.  Who knows what other parts we will need once we tear into the old light fixture.  It's always a surprise when you live in an old house!

Ta da!

Just a quick post to say the quilt is done and delivered,

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Quilt Show in April!

I am so excited!  I've had hotel reservations in Marion, IL for a couple of nights in April during the Quilt Show in Paducah.  That was as close as we could get without paying a LOT of money for lodging, and I'm okay with that.  It's just an hour drive from Marion to Paducah. 

Now, what I'm excited about today is that I got into 3 classes/lectures that I wanted to attend while at the show!  One is a hands on class on edge to edge longarm quilting.  That was my priority, to be able to get into that one.  Last night Donna, who is going with me, came over and we picked out two lectures to attend together.  One is about choosing colors and the other is a lecture from Alex Anderson and Libby Lehman!  I just can't believe I'm going to see them in person.  How cool is that? 

So I am one happy gal right now, let me tell you.  In the past, I have wanted to take classes and attend lectures but for one reason or another was unable to.  This time I made it a point to try real hard to get it to happen.

Looking forward to getting home after work and cutting binding for Rita's quilt.  Hope I can find something in the stash that matches one of the colors in the top.  If not, I may wait until tomorrow and purchase more of one of the fabrics at Wal Mart on my lunch hour.  That quilt deserves to have a nice binding.  Although, the more I think about it, it might not have to be one of the matching colors.  I think I might be able to get by with a dark green, if I have something in the right shade.  Will have to look.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Done quilting Rita's quilt

Today I finished the quilting on Rita's birthday quilt and took it off the frame.  Now I need to put the label and binding on it and it will be done.  Really glad I got it all quilted.  Sure did like using that panto.  It was a neat design and looks real professional.  I will say I think doing panto's right now takes a little longer for me, but like everything, I should get faster with practice.

The water heater is fixed, yay!  Let's hope that's it for plumbing problems for a long time.

Pics of the quilt to come soon!

Ev's appt. went well, thankfully.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ivy and the front door

Most dogs, upon hearing someone knocking at the front door, will bark and go to the door.  Not Ivy.  When the plumber came to the door yesterday, Ev was still asleep.  Ivy, apparently was still asleep, too.  The plumber came back today and commented that he had been to the house but no one answered yesterday morning.  Ev told him our dog was broke...  :)

But seriously, it is nice to have a mellow dog about some things.  She loves to jump on people and love them to death when they come in the door, but she's not much of a barker usually.  This is one quality we pretty much appreciate, living in town and all.  She barks when it's really necessary, and that's enough.

My uncle rescheduled our dinner to tonight, so that's my plans for this evening.  Last night I cooked up a lot of food.  I made a meatloaf, a beef roast with gravy, mashed potatoes, and a green bean casserole.  That should last a couple days at least.

Tomorrow Ev's appointment is in the morning and I have decided to go with him.  That will leave the entire afternoon free to work on Rita's quilt, which I fully intend to do.  Sure hope I get it done!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Just put the plumber on the payroll

The hot water heater keeps spilling water on the floor because it doesn't have the pressure release valve and now that the backflow valve is on the line outside it needs it and, and, and...  ugh.  Called the plumber and he is coming back tomorrow. 

Taking my elderly uncle out for dinner tonight for his birthday.  Going to a local restaurant so I will be home fairly early at least.  I have some hamburger and a small roast in the fridge to cook, so I thought I would make a meatloaf and pot roast to have a couple meals cooked in advance for the week.

Really need to replace the carpeting, but since we can't do that right now (see above reference to the plumber) I have got to clean at least one area that the dog has had accidents on.  Hope to get to that tomorrow.

In the middle of all this, I need to get Rita's quilt done.  That one hour yesterday didn't get it finished, but it's real close.  If I could just get down there and not be interrupted for a couple hours, it would be done.

Wednesday I am going with Ev to one of his yearly appointments.  It's over an hour drive, one way, so it's nice for him to have some company.  When we get home, maybe I can get some quilting time in.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sewing and water saga

I worked on the quilt on the frame for an hour today then got caught up in other things. Like the hot water heater having a puddle under it! This is not a big deal as we were told this might happen because of some valve they put on the main. If it keeps happening we have to have the plumber back. sigh. Went to see the movie Lincoln tonight. It was good. Long movie though.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


You would think that I would have had enough water issues after spending gobs of money on replacing the water line to our house a week ago.  Last night I went into the basement to find a leaking pipe. 

Now, plumbing is one of my husbands' least favorite things to work on.  The leak was at a shut off valve and Ev was pretty confident that he could replace the valve without any major repair work being done.  This time he was lucky and it was a quick fix, and cost less than five bucks for the replacement part.  I'm thankful for that and that he was able to replace it easily.

I've got to find my missing mojo.  The quilt for my sister is still on the frame and I have been telling myself it was because I was sick that it wasn't getting finished.  Yes, I'm still on antibiotics for a couple more days, so that excuse is still valid, but I do need to get it done.  Then I have a tee shirt quilt to make for a customer, so I really do need to get out of this slump. 

And I shouldn't be so hard on myself, because I did really have a big push right before Christmas so I haven't been a slacker or anything up until then.

Today Ev and I went out for a beer with our daughter, our neighbor and his sister and daughter.  We went to a bar in Alton called "Fast Eddie's".  It's been featured on one of Alton Brown's shows, the one where he drove across country on his motorcycle.  Anyway, I had my usual non alcoholic iced tea and Ev had a beer.  Here's a pic Johanna took of the two of us.  I look pretty goofy, but hey, we were having fun!

same old stuff

I have not posted much this week because there just isn't much to post. No sewing yet. We have a leaking pipe in the basement we have to fix this weekend. Fun. Not.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Not yet

No, I haven't gotten back to the longarm, but here's a closeup of what I'm doing.  This is a panto called square spiral.  I don't remember who I got it from, but I know it's one that Judy over at Patchwork Times uses and loves.
I got lucky with my fabric stash.  The off white background of this quilt is not the same material throughout.  The top picture shows it a little better, but you can see the pattern is even different.  I didn't have enough of any one material, except muslin, that would work well for the background, so I mixed and matched different off whites.  I think it worked out well.  The quilt just needed more than muslin as the background.

I confess that the colors in it were purchased.  It was like half a yard of each color, a total of five colors, and I needed a dose of fabric therapy.  They just came from Wal Mart, but I had fun picking them out.

Still not back to myself.  This is day four on antibiotics, so I'm getting real close, but the cough is still there as well as the nasal gunk.  I don't need the cough medicine much during the day so try not to take it, but I do need it at night when I lay down.

I know no one reads my blog to hear about my health, but I do think this was the flu and from what I'm seeing on the t.v. this flu season has started early and hitting hard.  I did not get a flu shot, but encourage those of you who need to get one, to do it.  I mean, really, who wants to lose two weeks of time not being able to quilt?  grrrr.

Oh and my darling son put up my t.v. in the kitchen tonight!  I'm so thrilled with it!  The picture is a tiny bit fuzzy, but that isn't anything he has control over, so I'm going to have to track down what cable goes where and what I can do about it.  Fuzzy or not, I'm tickled pink.  Now, I just need to get the rest of the decorations put away.  sigh.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Maybe today

Maybe today I will feel like sewing.  Mondays are not usually good days for me to sew because I'm usually pretty beat after work, but I really am itching to get on that longarm and finish Rita's quilt.  We shall see how my day progresses! 

I have the soup made and it's in the fridge, but I'm pretty sure hubby has been eating on it already, so I might need to make something else for dinner tonight.  Even if it's just a couple grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, it will mix it up a little.  They will go good with the soup.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


I am making a big pot of chicken rice soup. Since having this cold I have wanted homemade soup. Today seemed like a good day for it. Ev has started sniffling so he is probably getting it too. Still no sewing. Not feeling guilty about it. Too cold in the baasement for this sick gal! It really is fine for me when I am healthy just too cool and damp right now.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

No sewing yet

I am still not sewing due to being sick. I was fortunate to get in to the doctor this morning after another sleepless night from this awful cough. Doc prescribed antibiotics and cough syrup. He said it was time for antibiotics because it has hung around long enough. I am not arguing. We did go out for a while today. I got new shoes. Since I have foot problems I get as good of shoes as I can afford. While the shoe clerk was putting my new shoes on me and tying the laces it made me smile to think how long it has been since anyone tied my shoes for me!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Let's just get all the yuck stuff out of the way at the very beginning of the year, shall we? 

My cold is doing better, although now I have a lousy cough that is painful as well as irritating. 

The water line is getting fixed tomorrow morning, to the tune of an unspeakable sum that leaves me wondering why I never wanted to be a plumber.

I'm going to bed now and dream of a nice hot bath.

Not so good news update

Remember the water main break I mentioned earlier today?  After digging up the pipe, the City informed us that the break was our responsibility.  Sigh.  Waiting for a plumber to show up and tell us when and how much.  I'm sure it isn't going to be cheap. 

In the mean time, we have no water.  Amazing how much you depend on indoor plumbing.  Hopefully the situation will be resolved tonight.

Such is life

After not sleeping very well last night because of coughing (that cough syrup just didn't seem to kick it for me), I got up and decided to try and go to work again.  Yesterday I lasted the whole morning and a couple hours into the afternoon before I went home.  I'm hoping today I make it through the whole day.

My morning routine consists of getting in the shower first thing, which I did today.  A little bit later I needed to use the water in the kitchen and noticed it was not coming out of the faucet very fast at all.  I went in the basement and looked around to see if there were any puddles of water.  Thankfully, there were not.  Then I walked out to the front yard and sure enough, up through the ground the water was just a bubbling like crazy.  Sigh.

I called the city and they sent someone out.  They will work on it this morning and get it fixed.  Another good thing, the break occurred in a spot that the city is responsible for, not us as homeowners.  So, a little inconvenience for a few days (boiling drinking water) is a small price to pay.  I do feel for those guys who have to work outside in this cold weather, especially with water and all.

I'm trying to decide what to do as a sewing project for the year.  I'm thinking something every day, like a small block, might be the route I go.  Maybe set a goal of getting certain things accomplished each week, even.  All I know, is that right now I'm not doing anything at home except sleeping.  Oh, and eating.  This cold did not diminish my appetite yet!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


It's frustrating to me that I wasted four days off not being able to be productive.  I didn't get my sister's quilt done.  I really wanted to do that.  It couldn't be helped because of being sick, but it's still frustrating.

Okay, I'm done whining for now.  I'm also in bed with three quilts on me, wearing long johns and flannel p.j.'s and warm socks.  Now there's a visual for you....  haha.  My new best friend is the bottle of cough syrup.  And the box of kleenex with lotion.

At work

I am not feeling well at all, but I figured I might as well be miserable and get paid for it, so I went to work. Not sure if I'll make it through the entire day or not. I did start to quilt a pantograph Monday afternoon and finished one pass, but that was about all I could manage. The basement is too cold to be down there when I'm sick for any length of time, so I just gave up. It will wait. I am very pleased with how it looks, I will say that much.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

still sick

Sleep. It's what I do.... all I do...