Friday, August 31, 2012

Cleaning day...

The house needs a good going over to make it ready for Lindsey and Brie coming to visit. Since the t-shirt quilt is completely done, binding and all, I can spend the time cleaning up today. It shouldn't take too long as things have been given a good thorough cleaning for the dyeing workshops. I just need to run the vacuum and pick up items that are not in their proper home. Fix up the bedroom and put the pack 'n play in there for Brie to sleep in.

As I mentioned, I got the quilt done. It turned out very nice and believe it or not I got it done 1 month before the deadline. I will call L. this morning and let her know she can come pick it up. The other things on my to-do list from yesterday also got done. I called AFLAC and got the information I needed from then and I place an order for thread and it came to $168.00, can you believe that I needed that much thread? LOL. Perhaps need is not the correct word but I must say that I go through a lot of thread when I am quilting. Several weeks ago, I gave Tina a bag full of thread that just would not work well on either of my machines , so when I took out what I really can't use it revealed to me just what was really of value and useful to me. I could also see what I was getting low on. Same thing goes for our closets or our refrigerators. Do you know what I mean? You open up that closet door and look in, it is so full it looks like you have lots of options, that you have plenty of outfits, but if you are honest and take all of the things out that don't fit well, that are damaged in some way, or that you just don't feel comfortable in or don't like or that just don't fit your lifestyle, you are left with the real core of your wardrobe, those things that you love and feel great in. You realize that there is very little in there. The thing to realize is you were only using those main core pieces anyways. You might as well get rid of the items that you are never going to wear again. I had the opportunity last week to donate 2 bags of clothing to a family that had lost their home in a fire. How useful is a closet full of clothes that will never be worn, to me or someone else? If I continue to hold onto them for someday, then they are of no use today. If I can give these items to someone who, for example, has just lost everything then they are once again being useful. To me that is a win/win. The next time I go shopping rather than buying 3 new inexpensive shirts that are so so, what if I spent that same money on one really fabulous shirt that fit me well and my life style? The same thing with our refrigerators. I won't even walk through all the things that are lurking in the back growing a science project but when you open the door it looks like you have lots to eat. Just think about this, do we allow ourselves enough room in our lives to be open to something new? If our lives are so jam packed with stuff and activities then we don't have the ability to let something new take place. Let's let go of the old, the bad and the ugly and let ourselves breathe for awhile before filling it all up again. When you do replace something make sure it is beautiful, useful, and fits your lifestyle. More is not always better.

I hope you have a great day today and a safe and relaxing holiday weekend. Remember to let go of the old, the bad and the ugly and give yourself some room to breathe.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Working hard at catching up...

I spent a lot of time yesterday doing small odd jobs to try to catch up on getting lots done. First of all, I have found out that I hate to call to schedule appointments, which leads me to my hair cut appointment yesterday. I scheduled it like 3 months ago. So I went and before I left I made the scheduled the next hair cut. I like that, I don't have to think about calling and then put it off for several weeks and then when I simply can't stand it anymore call and wait another couple weeks to get in. I don't know why I resist this so much but anyways, it is done and scheduled. I have a photo to share with the new glasses and the haircut but you probably won't notice much difference from before. No extreme changes.

After the cut, I stopped at Staples, I had just received a rewards certificate in the mail with $9.00, and since I needed a wide tipped Sharpie marker to finish my barn block I figured I would get it there. I got a 4 pack and also picked up a pack of printer paper as you can never have too much of that on hand. It was so nice to go into a store and not have to pull out your wallet to pay. I still have $1.02 credit to use again. Nice. So speaking of the Sharpies, I added the finishing touches on my barn block.
This final step takes the piece from ok to Wow!
By the time I finished up my other errands, I got home around 3:00 and started quilting on the t-shirt quilt. Here are some pics of that
And a detail shot. The quilting is going rather quickly on this except for the frequent thread breaks I have had. I have tried everything I know and it is slightly less frequent but still enough to be annoying. I have good thread too so that is not the problem. Speaking of thread I need to place an order for somemore thread, I am getting low. I have to do that today.

We tried out a new recipe for dinner and it was very good. It was Foil Wrapped Chicken Pockets. Brown rice, chicken breast, artichoke hearts quartered and cherry tomatoes placed on the foil, drizzled with Kraft Zesty Italian dressing, wrapped up and baked for 30 minutes in the oven. Yummy. After dinner mom-in-law and I went for a walk at Lake Wilhelm. It was a beautiful evening at the lake.

So my plans for today are to finish quilting that top, get the binding made and attach it so I can have some hand work to do this evening when I am watching TV and relaxing. I also have to make that order for the thread and I need to call AFLAC. Those are my goals to accomplish today. I will let you know tomorrow how I did.

Have a great day and remember to enjoy the day. Can you believe it is the end of August already? I am not even going to ask where did the summer go to, I want to know where has this year gone to???

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Barn block is painted...

Yesterday was a very productive day, even with the power outage that we had. I got the quilt loaded on Lola before the power went out. While we were without electricity, I read the rest of Diane Gaudynski's quilting book. Once we were back up and running I started to quilt. I had trouble with frequent thread breakage but I think I got that problem squared away. Jeff came home for lunch and we had soup and toasted cheese sandwiches with Lindsey's favorite kind of bread, multigrain Tuscany Bread. You can find it at Giant Eagle. I have to go there again today to pick up a refill on a script so I will get another loaf since she is coming home this weekend. I doubt that there will be any left though by the time she gets here. LOL.

I got my new glasses, they seem to be working fine. I think that I will have a lot less eye strain with these. They look nice too. I will have to get a photo soon, perhaps after I get my hair cut this morning. I can kill 2 birds with one stone that way. Another LOL..

I stopped by the clinic after picking up my glasses to visit for a while before heading over to Tina's to work on my barn block. I picked up some chicken nuggets and fries for our snack/dinner while working and then we got to work. I had decided to do a Mariner's Compass and got to work drafting it out while Tina helped Debbie get her's drafted out.
My design was large and quick to draft and paint so I finished that part and was able to bring it home with me. Here are the photos of the progression.

I still have to add the black Sharpie lines to cover up the wobblies and make it crisp. I will pick up a Sharpie today so I can do just that and then we can get it hung. Woo Hoo.

Here is one more photo of Brie and the caption that followed, it makes me say, "Yes, bring it on."
The caption read, I hope you're ready for us! Haha:)
We sure are ready, sweetie, have a safe trip here and we will see you soon.

Have a wonderful day. I am off to get that haircut and will be back in the studio to quilt up a storm.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Good news...

Yesterday I had my 6 week check-up with the melanoma specialist. I got blood work and a very thorough exam and came out with a clean bill of health, except I knew that I was having signs of a bladder infection so I got some antibiotics for that and already I am feeling better. Nothing is going to stop me from my appointed duties. LOL. I am not the postal carrier. HaHa. I do slow down a bit but I am not stopping completely.

Today, I plan on putting a rather large t-shirt quilt on Lola and start the quilting on it. I have an appointment at the eye doctor's office to pick up my new glasses and get them fitted properly. It has only been 4 weeks since they were ordered. I hope they are worth the wait. I have also just made plans to go to Tina's tonight to paint my barn block. Debbie is going to work on her's too.

This is another bit of good news that I can share and am waiting impatiently for. Lindsey and Brianne are flying home for a little vacation this weekend. I am going to get my hands on both of my granddaughters in less than a 2 week span. That is a great blessing all around. Here is a picture that Lindsey sent me a month or so ago and I can see her momma all over again at this age in Brie.
Isn't she adorable? Of course she is adorable in the photo of her in the highchair with ravioli sauce all over her face too. These kiddos grow up so fast. Stay little for a while longer.

Well, this is about all the news for today... Haha, I just had a knock on the door and they are going to have to shut our electricity off for about an hour or so as they are running new power lines on our road. At least the gentleman was kind enough to give us a heads up about what is going on. I won't get too much quilting done although I can load the quilt perhaps before the power goes off.

I best be going and getting this done. Have a great day and be thankful that we even have electricity. I would not have enjoyed living in more primative days before electricity, lights, heat and air conditioning, refrigerators and toilets and airplanes that make travel so much easier and faster. I like the conveniences that we have. Be thankful for these.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Catch up over the weekend...

My post today will be a catch up of several things that I didn't have anywhere else to fit it into a post. Just small things, some random, some not even my own projects.

First of all, last weekend, Dan finished up the frame he had made for a puzzle that he and Stephanie had put together. He had to adjust the opening just a bit because it was a little too small. But once done it looks really good don't you think?
He used old door molding that we had replaced when we got the new doors in the house, and he planed it, routed out the groove on the face of the trim, routed out the channel that the puzzle sits in, cut it and assembled it then stained and poly'd it. He did a great job. The puzzle itself is a Thomas Kinkade puzzle. I love it. This will be a nice keepsake for them. It reminds me of the puzzle that Jeff and I put together when we were dating and my brother framed it in an antique frame that my mom had in the basement. We still have it and it has hung in a place of prominence in every home we have lived in. Here it is.
I guess some family traditions don't even have to be purposefully passed down. They are picked up by exposure and respect given to the ideas and thoughts behind them.

I ordered some new books and DVD's this past week and have received them and already devoured them. The first book was this one.
I love Diane's quilting. She does such a superb job of quilting the traditional patterns while infusing new life into them. She is so accurate too. That comes from much practice and taking the time to do things right from the very beginning of the project. I learned some new tips from her book. It is on sale on Amazon for $14.17 right now. That is a great price for this book and well worth it. The best tip that I got out of the book was to spray starch your backing fabric before basting your quilt sandwich together. She says that you will get a smoother back with less likelyhood of puckers on the back and that it will slide across your machine bed much easier. I am going to definetely try that the next time I do a quilt on my DSM. It might not be as important a step if you are quilting on a longarm machine.

I then got a sales email from and I ordered these items.
The dvd Divide and Design The Cure for Quilter's Agoraphobia by Lisa Calle. This is a great dvd that breaks down the designing process that she uses to develop a quilt motif that turns a quilt into a masterpiece. The transformation of a rather simple quilt by the selection of properly positioned and proportioned motifs is amazing. There is no limit to what can be created with this step by step process. Of course this can be very time consuming so it is best used for those heirloom or show quilts. It is the type of quilting that would be best used to enhance a wedding quilt but not a play quilt for a child that is going to be used heavily.

Another book/dvd combo that I got was also by Lisa Calle and it is the Feathers of a New Generation, "Not your Grandmom's Feathers" It had a lot of feather variations. I have seen the curling feather border done before and knew how to mark it out but I would get lost in the stitching out process and she gave some good tips on that and I could see the progression in how she stitched it so I got that now. The quality of her videos is top notch. Very good teacher and I will be trying out some of her designs in upcoming quilts.

The last book/dvd I got was Twirly Whirly Feathers by Kim Brunner. It is a good beginner to intermediate set. If you have some good basic skills she really moves you forward in making lovely feather designs. I still learned some tips from her too. She has a great teaching manner too.

Over all I loved all of these new items I got and highly recommend them if you are wanting to move on to the next level of machine quilting. These techniques can be used on a longarm machine or a DSM, or even if you hand quilt. The learning process should never end. We need to continue to grow and try out new things everyday.

Yesterday, was a fun day with friends. After church and lunch with DH, I headed to Greenville to meet up with friends to go see the movie Hope Springs, with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones. So funny, we laughed so hard. I passed DH on the road when I was heading home, so I called him to see what he was up to, he was going golfing with a friend, later on I got a phone call from him asking me to come out to Compadres for dinner, well, I had already eaten but I went in to have a margarita and spend some time with him and our friends he had been golfing with. It was a great day.

I hope you have a wonderful day and be open to trying new things, learning new things.