Friday, May 31, 2013

Quack quack waddle waddle

If it rains all day we'll quack like a duck!  Okay, so I'm not a Nippersinker or whatever it was in that childhood rhyme.  But I am starting to wonder if I should have brought a boat with me to get home today from work.  It's just pouring out there.  I have no desire to even go out on my lunch hour.  If it does let up a bit I might run out, but at this point I'm pretty happy to stay inside and stay dry!  I have stuff I can eat for lunch so I won't go hungry, that's for sure.

I feel so good about getting that quilt off Gemma last night!  I'm determined to at least get Cascading Colors trimmed tonight and the binding cut for it and Stained Glass.  Hopefully I will get more done.  It seems like once I get upstairs and start doing stuff I lose track of time and end up doing more than I anticipated!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Murphy's Law

Murphy's Law was at work tonight while I was at work on Gemma finishing the quilting on Cascading Colors.  This is the very bottom corner of the quilt - where I ran out of bobbin thread!
At least I had one more bobbin wound with the right thread and didn't have to take the cone off of the machine!  One last look at the quilt on the frame:
And a close up of the quilting:
The thread was YLI varigated that I bought in Paducah on a 3000 yd cone.  Since the backing was muslin this time it sewed like a dream.  I didn't have the tension issues like I had with Stained Glass.

Now I have both of those quilts waiting for a label and binding.  I really want to get them done tomorrow night but not making any promises!  I also have the batik 10" squares in the warm colors to finish up.  The top isn't finished yet, but I would like to have that done by the end of the weekend and on the frame.  I've got high hopes...  What Disney movie was that song from?  Am I showing my age?  haha

We have storms again tonight.  This time I was in the basement.  Of course, I was sewing, but that still counts.  I'm real glad the power didn't go out this time around.  It seems that the storm isn't over, but the worse of it seems to have passed for the moment.

Aromatherapy - or smelly stuff!

I'm back to the subject of smells again!  Today when I was driving to work on Old Route 66 the county tractors were mowing the ditches.  The smell of fresh cut grass was overwhelming!  It smelled so sweet and so fresh I just had to inhale a deep breath and enjoy it!  The smell of fresh cut grass is one of those smells that is just 'good'.  Does that make sense?  I don't think I have any memories connected to that smell that are unpleasant. 

The smell of fresh turned earth is also something pleasant for me.  It reminds me of my great grandfather's garden.  It's an unique smell and I can't really describe it.  It's dirt.  But it's not yucky dirt.  It's rich, moist, black soil.  And usually there is a worm or two to be seen!  I'm not squeamish about worms - Grandpa made me bait my own hook!  And I can remember going to the edge of the field where a drainage pipe emptied to dig up worms with Grandpa.  He would take a pitchfork and scoop out about three or four inches of soil and then we would crumble it in our hands and look for worms.  Good memories.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Isn't this a lovely quilt!  My friend, Sandy, made this quilt and is working on the valance in the second picture.  Would you believe this is her FIRST quilt???  Sandy and her mom, Val, are holding up the quilt and valance.  The colors are beautiful and the piecing and embroidery are equisite.  Great job, Sandy! 

Sandy sent the quilt out to be quilted and the longarmer did a fantastic job of it.  Beautiful feather motifs and vines and leaves fillers.  The embroidery was outilned in such a way that the back was just as pretty as the front.  It looked like big beautiful flowers on the back.  She is doing the quilting on the valance herself on her home machine.  So far the quilting looks pretty good on it too!  I'm trying to convince her to try and machine quilt a bed quilt on her home machine.

Now, my first quilt didn't look anything like this...  haha.  I'm very impressed.  I am thinking she might be hooked on quilting...she and her mom took a bus trip to Paducah last month for the show.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Feels like Monday but it's Tuesday

I guess because it was the first day back to work after a long weekend it just feels like a Monday.  At least that's the excuse I'm using for not doing much of anything this evening.  I put some Italian Beef together in the crock pot this morning so I didn't have to do any cooking.  It turned out really good.  I did do a load of laundry that includes my work out clothes so I won't have any excuses to not go to the gym tomorrow night.  sigh.

It's been warm and humid today and rained off and on.  The windows are open and the peeper frogs are just singing away.  Maybe next weekend we can get started opening the pool. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Catching up

I know I've been absent from blogland for a few days.  Sorry!  Friday I had dinner with my uncle after work.  I also put the borders on Cascading Colors.  Well, border, anyway.  I ended up just putting a two inch border of black on it and calling it good.  I didn't have enough of the black that I used in the main part of the quilt so I used what I had.  It's okay.  Done is better than perfect, right?  haha.

Saturday I loaded the quilt on the frame.  Ev and I dug holes and set fence posts to repair some of the storm damage.  Mom came down and we went to St. Louis to have dinner.  When we came back we went uptown for a while.  It was a late night for me.  Didn't get to bed until after midnight.

Sunday morning Mom went to meet a friend and visit for a while.  Ev and I put the fence panels up, which was a relief to Ivy.  She can run free again and is one happy pooch.  When Mom got back we had a great meal.  Had pork chops on the grill, potato salad, green bean casserole and melon.  Yum!

Today I started quilting on Cascading Colors.  I was worried about using the varigated thread because of all the issues I had with it on the last quilt, but I am convinced now that the problem I had with it was because of the backing material.  I'm using muslin on this one and it's working very nicely with the varigated thread.  Considering the price I paid for that cone of thread, I'm relieved that I will be able to use it!

We had burgers on the grill and leftover potato salad and goodies.  It was a pretty good dinner.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Does the dog have a snooze button?

Since the fence is still down, when Ivy gets me up in the morning I have to walk her.  Normally I just let her out and crawl back into bed, because Ivy thinks she has to wake me up 20 minutes before my alarm goes off!  It wasn't a big deal when I could just roll out of bed, stumble to the back door with my eyes half closed, and let her out.  But now that I have to walk her, I really wish she had a snooze button!  haha

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sore muscles

I'm back at work today with some sore muscles!  Pitching brush and dragging branches for hours gave me quite a workout yesterday.  At least I didn't have to go to the gym!  Planning to go there after work today, though, if all goes well.

I have got to get back upstairs to work on those two tops.  They are so close to being completed.  I really should get busy on them tonight and tomorrow night because I know Ev is going to need help outside over the weekend.  Mom is coming Saturday afternoon so I'll be spending time with her, too.  Oh, and when I spoke to my great uncle yesterday after the storm we decided to have supper Friday night.  sigh.  Going to be a busy few days coming up.

Today when I left the house to drive to work I automatically drove up to the railroad tracks on Main Street before I realized they still had it barricaded off.  Some of the most severe storm damage was on Main Street.  A very old home that a family I know lives in had windows blown out and the roof damaged.  These people are very good folks who take in foster children and just give and give and give.  I was glad to see the damage is repairable at least.  Now, down the block it's a different story.  Although I couldn't drive up that way, I could see the buildings that had the top half blown off of them.  Wow.  We sure are blessed that no one was injured.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

We are blessed

It was nowhere near the devastation that we are seeing come out of Oklahoma, however we experienced an EF 2 tornado in my little town last night.  Here are a few pictures:

 Above is the two sections of fence that are down in my yard.
 Above is the tree that fell on my dad's garage.
The town clock church on our main street.  The stained glass windows below the clock were broken.
A car blown over onto it's roof.

There were NO INJURIES during this storm.  Lots of damage and town is a mess, but it's just that.  A mess.  Everyone has been working on clean up all day today.  Our fence will have to be fixed soon, but Ev is working 12 hour days and whatever he can do before the weekend will be enough.  Then this weekend we will get it done for good, hopefully.

In the meantime, I will be walking Ivy instead of letting her loose in the fenced yard.  That's not so bad.

Here's a link to one of the St. Louis, MO news stations.  There is also a slide show of pictures.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Hot and icky

Today seems unseasonably hot and sticky to me.  Yuck.  Been doing some yard work and have to keep stopping and cooling off.  I sure don't want a repeat of what happened a few years ago when I was helping with the pool!

The new chainsaw I bought isn't working.   Will have to take it back and get a replacement.  I had wanted to get the bushes in the front taken down, but that just didn't happen.

Benefit quilt

Last night I went to the benefit auction that I had donated the baby quilt to.  Things were going at a quick pace during the auction.  There was a lot of stuff to move through including a few quilts and afghans.  The baby quilt I made went for $40.  That was good, but considering what other items were going for, I wish it had sold for more.  I ended up buying a basket with pizza making goodies, including a pizza cutter, pizza pan and cookbooks.  I think the benefit was quite a success.

I have all the batik squares sewn together into pairs and ready to be assembled into rows.  I also found some different but similar black material that I decided to use as a border on Cascading Colors.  I was going to buy something, but found this and it will work.  Today if I'm lucky I will get some time to do some sewing and maybe even get one of the quilts loaded on Gemma.

We have a lot of yard work to do today.  The front yard is still a mess.  I hate that Ev has to work 6 days a week then come home and work in the yard on his day off.  I'll help as much as I can.

Right now we are getting ready to go out for a late breakfast.  Yum!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Saturday sewing

I've been up since 7 and in the sewing room for a few hours.  Here's part of what I have accomplished:

Looks like a mile of ten inch squares sewn together coming out the back of my old Kenmore!  This was the group of pink and red batiks I bought at Hancock's of Paducah.  I cut them into ten inch squares and am making a top out of them.

What I went upstairs to work on was to put the border strips on Cascading Colors and then take it downstairs and load it on Gemma.  Well, best laid plans of mice and men...  I don't have enough black to make the final border!  Argh.  So, after Ev goes to work this afternoon I'm going to run out and see if I can't find either the black material or one of the colors to use for a border.  It has to have one.

Do you see that Serger sitting on the table behind the squares?  It's a good little machine, a Singer, that I have had for many years.  I don't use it much, though.  It's only a three thread and doesn't make a straight stitch, just the overcasting stitches.  Every now and then I get it out and play with it a bit.

Tonight is the benefit dinner for Bob.  I'm planning on going to it and meeting up with some friends there.  I'd like to see how much the baby quilt brings in.  If nothing else, it's a pretty drive to get over to the town it's in.  All through the country, which I like.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

My journal

I still keep a sewing and quilting journal on paper, even though this blog has more information about what's going on in my life.  Sometimes my journal is a little bit behind and I have to catch it up.  When I sit down to sew or go to work on Gemma, I have a scrap of paper that I log when I start and when I finish.  Then I scratch a little note about which project I'm working on.  That information is transferred into my journal where I elaborate on what I was working on, the fabrics, threads, and who it may be for.

Today I caught it up as I was quite behind in it.  I had to reference the dates with dates on the blog to know what I had been doing!  I guess it's double duty, having the blog and journal, but I like to have something physical as well as electronic.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Beautiful batiks

Here's a peak at the batiks I bought in Paducah:

They are arranged in two sets, one of reds and pinks and the other blues.  I am thinking of making a quilt from each stack, just of ten inch squares, like the orange one I did in March.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Flannel baby quilt is finished

And here it is!  It's only about 42" square, but that's a nice size for a baby quilt.  It's really quite heavy for it's size, so maybe it will be best served as a play quilt for baby to lay on.  It's flannel on both sides with 80/20 batting and a cotton binding.  I'm pleased with the way it turned out.  I used one of the techniques from the longarm edge to edge class I took in Paducah.  It was such a simple and obvious suggestion on how to travel and quilt a design, but was extremely helpful.

I have to drop it off Wednesday at noon with one of the gals who is running the benefit/auction.

Monday recovery

I think I'm still recovering from the nice dinner we had yesterday.  The crew took me to Olive Garden where I absolutely stuffed myself on appetizers, salad, breadsticks and portabella stuffed ravioli!  Oh, it was wonderful!  I had a couple of the ravioli leftover and ate them for lunch today.  Yum!

I still need to trim and bind the flannel baby quilt, and intend to do that tonight after work.  I have committed to dropping it off on Wednesday at lunchtime to one of the gals hosting the benefit.  This is for an auction and meal being held to raise money for a friend who needs a heart transplant.  I promise to get pictures up soon!  Just haven't had time to take any lately!

Not sure if I'm going to go to the gym tonight.  I should, but my stomach has been a bit unsettled, probably from the rich foods I ingested the last couple days!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all my blog friends!  I hope today is filled with all the good things you enjoy and that family treats you special!  Ev and the kids are taking me out to dinner this afternoon.  I'm really looking forward to it.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Flannel baby quilt quilted

I quilted up the flannel baby quilt I'm donating to the auction next weekend.  This was the first time I had quilted anything flannel on Gemma.  The results were okay, although there was some stretching of the fabric that I had to really watch out for.  I switched back to the Essentials thread and had no looping problems.  I still won't blame the other thread until I have used it on a quilt without that tight weave backing material.  Cascading Colors will have the same weight of fabrics on back and front and I'm debating giving it a shot or just playing it safe.

Friday, May 10, 2013

One down, one to go

I finished quilting Stained Glass last night.  That was a relief to get off the frame.  I just had such a time with it getting those loops on the backside!  It was driving me nuts! 

When I put Cascading Colors on the frame I'm going to try a small section with the varigated thread and see how it does.  If I get pokies as bad on it as I did on Stained Glass, I'm going to use the same solid color on the back and front.  I was not pleased at all with the final product, but it's done and just going to have to live with it.

Tonight I'm meeting friends for dinner at the Mexican restaurant in the next town over.  That is fairly early, like 5:30, so I'm thinking that I can at least get that baby quilt loaded when I get home.  And maybe go to the gym, if I feel so inclined.  Which I probably won't...  sigh.

Tomorrow morning the vet's office is only open from 8 to 10 so I have to make sure and take Ivy over there to get a true weight, then get her flea and heartworm meds.  There's a new combination pill for everything that they take once a month.  I'm going to get one month for Ivy and one month for the cat, Shadow, just to make sure they can take it okay.  Then I'll drop the big bucks and get the six month package as long as there are no problems.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Peeper frogs and progress on Stained Glass

Since I have been writing this blog for several years, I have probably announced the coming of the peeper frogs every year.  And every year I probably tell you, dear reader, that my hubby does not like the peeper frogs.  This makes me giggle because I really like them and the noises they make!  Our pool is a peeper frog magnet and until we open it up and put chemicals in it, I just envision all these little tree frogs swimming merrily away on the cover of the pool!

Tonight after work (and the gym!) the kids and I went to have supper at Sunset.  The meal was good and it was fast.  Since I didn't have to cook (I brought Ev home a sandwich) I went downstairs and worked on Stained Glass.  I have the last full turn showing and have about a third of it quilted.  I ran out of bobbin thread and had to wind more bobbins, so it was a good stopping point.  There's not much left to do on it!  Yay!

Next will be the baby quilt I'm donating to an auction for a friend who is ill.  That will be a quick one to do, then I will be putting Cascading Colors (is that what I named it?  I think so...) on the frame.  I got the backing material for it yesterday.  I just got muslin for it, rather than quilt shop material.  With the mixture of quilt shop backing and lesser quality material on the top, I think that has been quite a contributing factor to my tension issues.  I hope to avoid them with the other quilt.


Sometimes I get bored.  Lately, my down time has been taken up with some doodling.  One of the books I purchased in Paducah was "Hooked on Feathers".  Here's a little bit of my doodles:

There's a difference between doodling on paper with a pen and doodling on material with needle and thread.  But there is such a thing as muscle memory and I know that the doodling on paper will help with that. 

Sometimes I think that I should be better on Gemma by now, having had the longarm for a year, but I also cut myself some slack because I do work a full time job outside the home.  I'm probably my own worse critic and am a bit timid about trying new things on a quilt.  What I should do is throw a practice quilt on the machine and just go for it.  It seems like I never have time for that because I always have a 'good' quilt on the frame!  haha.

Monday, May 6, 2013

So many ideas, so little time!

If only I could just stay home all day and quilt!  I could get every quilt made I have floating around in my brain that way.  sigh.

Yesterday we had an anniversary party for my dad and stepmother.  It was quite a party with about 130 people.  Had a nice time but glad it's over with. 

Getting excited about going to San Francisco in June! 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

My flowers and a lazy dog

As promised, here's a picture of the flowers my darling hubby brought to my office on our anniversary.  I brought them home Friday afternoon so I could enjoy them over the weekend.

I've been quilting on Stained Glass today.  Still have to watch the tension.  I think the few stitches that are messed up are going to be okay after the quilt is washed.  There aren't many.  The backing of the quilt is a tighter weave than the top, so I think this is also a contributing factor in the tension issue. 

While working on the quilt Ivy decided to come visit me.  Whenever I would get my flashlight and look under the quilt, she would sit there and wait for me to give her a pat on the head!  Then she got a little tired of sitting so she just crashed out under the frame!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Paducah - 2014!

Would you believe I just made hotel reservations for next year's quilt show in Paducah?  Staying in Metropolis, IL which is just 7 minutes from Paducah.  The hotels in the area all double their rates during Quilt Week, which I think is outrageous, but nothing I can do about it.  Some of the hotels are already booked solid!  So making the reservation this early really isn't that outrageous.

Please tell me I'm done frogging

Rippit, rippit, rippit.  That's what I did again last night until 8:37.  Yes, 8:37.  I know it was that time because I looked at the clock, thinking maybe I could start actually quilting the piece again.  I decided I probably wasn't at my sharpest at that time of the night, so tonight I want to jump in with both feet.  Going to use the varigated thread on both the top and bobbin to try and eliminate some issues.  I think my bobbin tension was too tight this last time, for one thing.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Pretty flowers

My husband brought me two dozen rozen today!  They are simply gorgeous and I love them.  It's our 26th wedding anniversary.  He came up for lunch, roses in hand.  Such a sweetie!  I think I'll keep him! 

I'm a very lucky woman.

I would have put a picture of the flower up, but having difficulty with that right now.  Will do it soon.

Did I mention I'm looking into hotel reservations for next year at the quilt show?  Yup.  hee hee hee.

To sew or to unsew

Last night I was rearing to go and started quilting on Stained Glass.  I put one of the new cones of thread that I got at the show on the top - a pretty varigated one, and a solid on the back.  The threads were different brands and different weights.  I sewed down the edges for my first pass, checking tension, then started quilting.  I stopped the first few minutes a couple times to get the flashlight and check tension on the back.  It looked good, so I kept going and quilted one full pass.  Then I went to roll it...


It looked like only the first few lines that I had checked were good.  The rest was all botched up.  Tension, tension, tension.  So, since I was using different weight threads and different brands, I thought I would just try again using the varigated in the top and bobbin.  Should save some heartache at least.  But first I have the tedious job of unpicking all those stitches.  My, oh, my.  What takes 20 minutes to quilt is taking three hours to pick.  I picked for over two hours last night, then this morning before work I picked for about half an hour.  Still not done, but close to having it all out.  I just hope when I go to sew again I can get the tension right and not have to do this again.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Just a few tidbits to share.  I've read it before, but I am currently re reading Gone with the Wind.  I'm reading it on my Nook and it seems to be taking forever to get through it.  Over 1000 pages and I'm just a bit past the halfway mark.  But I can't stop reading it now. 

Still going to the gym.  Haven't been losing weight, but I'm not really doing any type of strenuous regime or anything.  I do some cardio and some of the weight machines when I go.  I try to go 3-5 times a week.  Whoever said 'oh you will start to really like it and want to go' about the gym was lying.  Not happening here.

I haven't sewn a stitch on the longarm or upstairs for a while.  Stained Glass is still loaded on the machine, but not a stitch sewn on it yet.  I need to get a move on on it, that's for sure.  I think I'm still recovering from Paducah... not had much energy after I get home from work and the gym these last couple days.